Setting the Record Straight: Part XV: Admiration and Glorification of Arab Terrorists

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Palestinian Arab terrorists killed in action are accorded well publicized and elaborate funeral processions, where their pictures are prominently displayed. Dozens of young men and women are commonly seen vowing to become suicide bombers. Some of this is merely theatrics yet dying to free “Palestine” has become a badge of honor. [1]

Arab mothers of the “martyred” children are honored in the media for their willingness to sacrifice their sons. On November 3, 2022, Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas – Gaza) broadcast simultaneous events exalting these women. Amina Zahran, the mother of slain Hamas terrorists Ahmad Zahran and Zahran Zahran said at one of the events: “We do not fear death… We want martyrdom.” The mother of terrorist Khaled Jawabra, said that she has 17 children and 65 grandchildren, and that she would gladly and enthusiastically sacrifice them for the sake of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. “Our homeland and our holy places are dearer to us than our children,” she declared. Another speaker disclosed that the “families of the ‘martyrs’ laugh and smile at their funerals because of the rewards the martyrs receive from Allah.” [2]

In June 2023, 15-year-old Sadil Ghassan Naghnaghiya Turkeman –a female Palestinian Arab terrorist and member of the Islamic Jihad– was killed during an Israeli counter-terror operation in Jenin. Naghnaghiya’s Facebook profile picture showed her holding an M16 assault rifle, and one of her posts read: “We do not love Martyrdom-death.”

Two days after Naghnaghiya was killed a posted text on Telegram channel read: “Jana Bilal Naghnaghiya, 8, speaks about her good friend and cousin Sadil [Naghnaghiya]: “Sadil was very beloved by the people, very very much, by the children and adults … congratulations on the Martyrdom, congratulations, congratulations, congratulations. I want to tell you congratulations with my whole heart, 1,000 times congratulations …Today I was happy for her, I was very very happy. Congratulations on the Martyrdom.”  [3]

Involvement of Palestinian Arab teens in acts of terrorism against Israel is not a new phenomenon. Palestinian Arab terror organizations have been training children as early from the 1970s. This was also observed in the First Lebanon War in 1982, when IDF soldiers confronted Palestinian Arab youth sent by the Palestine Liberation Organization to shoot rocket-propelled grenade rockets (RPG) at them. Later, they became known as the “RPG children.” Arab teens continued as combatants in the Second Intifada in 2004 and during the “knife intifada” in 2015. [4]

In February 2023, there has been a resurgence of shooting attacks in eastern Jerusalem by young Palestinian Arabs, who are called in Arabic Ashbal al-Quds (boys of Jerusalem). They have become the “new heroes” in the war against Israel, whom they view as the enemy that must be crushed through acts of terror sand jihad. They have been incited by the Palestinian Authority on social networks, particularly on Tik Tok and Instagram and at school and home. [5]

Incitement at Summer Camps

For more than a decade, Islamic Jihad and Hamas have been conducting summer camps for thousands of schoolchildren throughout the Gaza Strip. Camps have served as vehicle to promote jihad, terrorism and armed struggle with the goal of “liberating Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.” Campers receive military training: practicing with knives and weapons, including the AK-47, sniper rifles, RPG launchers, mortars and machine guns, instruction on hand-to-hand combat, firing rockets and kidnapping Israeli soldiers. Some lessons occur at Hamas military bases. At one camp, a boy gave a demonstration of tunnel warfare.

Children are recruited and enrolled for summer camps through Hamas and PIJ websites and social media, and at booths staffed by members of the two groups inside mosques and at other public locations throughout the Gaza Strip. Senior officials of Hamas and PIJ attend ceremonies at the start of camp and at and graduation ceremonies, where they speak to the campers.

Khaled Abu Askar, the head of Hamas’s Higher Committee for Summer Camps, declares that Hamas is very concerned about the young generation, and is eager to invest in their future. Young Palestinian Arabs, he said, are being systematically targeted to erode their belief system, conduct, values, moral behavior and patriotism. Who is responsible for this attempt to lead them astray? There is no question, Israel.

On July 8, the 2023 camp season began with 10,000 young boys and girls in attendance. The slogan for this summer is Shield of Jerusalem, signaling the children will be exploited in the fight against the Jewish state. They are being taught the art of initiating terror attacks and serving as human shields as part of the campaign to “liberate” Jerusalem. [6]

Relentless Glorification

Palestine Authority’s (PA) relentless glorification of terrorists reinforces the culture of hatred against Jews. When squares, youth centers, schools, sports stadiums in Palestinian Arab towns and cities are named after terrorist murderers elevates their actions to the level a heroic act of “resistance.” [7]

Former PA minister education and higher education, Sabri Saidam, justified the naming of Palestinian Arab institutions and public venues after murderers since “both Palestinians and Israelis honor those who they view as their national heroes, no matter how the other side views them. It is peculiar that Israel names streets and major installations after its own founders and so-called heroes, and the Palestinians are not allowed to do so,” he said, citing former Israeli Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin. “One’s man hero is another man’s terrorist,” he said. [8]



[1] Steven R. David, “Fatal Choices: Israel’s Policy of Targeted Killing,” The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies Mideast Security and Policy Studies Number 51 (September 2002):11.

[2] “Hamas TV Airs Events Honoring Mothers Of Palestinian Terrorists, ‘Martyrs’ – Mother Of Slain Terrorists Says: I Will Happily Sacrifice My 17 Children, 65 Grandchildren For The Sake Of Palestine, Al-Aqsa Mosque,” MEMRI (November 3, 2022); “Palestinian Press Glorifies Mother Of Terrorist Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, Who Expressed Pride And Joy Over Her Son’s Martyrdom, MEMRI Palestine Special Dispatch No. 10152 (August 22, 2022); “Head Of PIJ’s Women’s Framework Esmahan Abd Al-Aal Praises Female Terrorists, Mothers Of “Martyrs”: They Are Role Models, Icons Of Struggle and Resistance,” MEMRI (June 6, 2022); “Mother Of Palestinian Terrorist Recently Killed By Israeli Security Forces To Al-Jazeera: We Will Never Tire Of Jihad; The Hypocrite Jews Think They Killed Him, But He Is Alive With Allah,” MEMRI (August 9, 2022); “Father Of Palestinian Terrorist Who Murdered Three Israelis In Tel Aviv Shooting: I Am Pleased With My Son; Allah, Make Us Among The First To Strom The Al-Aqsa Mosque,” MEMRI (April 8, 2022).

[3] Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “8-year-old congratulates 15-year-old cousin on her “Martyrdom-death”: “1,000 times congratulations,’” Palestinian Media Watch (July 13, 2023).

[4] Yoni Ben Menachem, “The Phenomenon of Palestinian Teen Terrorists,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (February 19, 2023).

[5] Ibid; “Palestinian Islamic Jihad Official Bassam Al-Agha: Arab Schools Should Teach The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion; Students Should Learn How The Jews Think,” MEMRI (August 21, 2022).

[6] Bassam Tawil “Palestinians’ summer camps to kill Jews” Israel National News ( July 21, 2023); Nan Jacques Zilberdik,  “2023 PLO summer camps will highlight dead terrorists as “Moons” in the skies of “Palestine,” Palestinian Media Watch (March 28, 2023); John F. Burns “Palestinian Summer Camp Offers the Games of War,” The New York Times  (August 3, 2000); “Senior Fatah Official Majed Al-Fityani: Only The Palestinians Will Have Sovereignty In Palestine, From The River To The Sea; We Will Go After The Israelis And Wrest Our Rights From Them,” MEMRI (May 29, 2022); their parents are also urged to learn how to use weapons to murder Jews, “Hamas’ Musab Al-Hashlamoun Urges West Bank Palestinians: Use YouTube, Social Media To Learn How To Use Weapons So That You Can Kill As Many Israelis As Possible,” MEMRI (November 5, 2022); “Skit By Gaza Actor Alaa Gadouha Urges Palestinians To Use Knives, Axes, AK-47s, And Cars To Murder Israelis During Sunday’s Flag March,” MEMRI (May 23, 2022); “Senior Fatah Official Majed Al-Fityani: Only The Palestinians Will Have Sovereignty In Palestine, From The River To The Sea; We Will Go After The Israelis And Wrest Our Rights From Them,” MEMRI (May 29, 2022);  “5 kids on PA TV children’s show praise mass-murderer,” Official Palestinian Authority TV  Palestinian Media Watch (September 22, 2021 · September 6, 2022).

[7] “Park is named after the mothers of Palestinian terrorists, to celebrate International Women’s Day,” Official Palestinian Authority TV Palestinian  Media Watch (March 7, 2022); “PA inaugurates garden in boys’ school honouring terrorist mass murderers,” Palestinian Media Watch (March 21, 2022; Nan Jacques Zilberdik “PLO-member party PFLP claimed responsibility,” Palestinian Media Watch (June 21, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Hamas honor Sbarro pizza shop suicide bomber who murdered 15,” Palestinian Media Watch (May 5, 2014); Herb Keinon, “The glorification of terrorism or the perpetrators of heinous terrorist acts is unacceptable under any circumstances,” The Jerusalem Post (May 28, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, “Macabre demonstration of borders of “Palestine” by Fatah: Dying terrorist’s blood photo-shopped to form map of “Palestine,” Palestinian Media Watch (February.18, 2016).

[8]  Dov Lieber and Times of Israel staff, “Defying US, Palestinian official vows payments to terrorists will continue,” The Times of Israel (June 14, 2017.); Marcus Sheff, “Fact checking the PA Minister of Education,” The Times of Israel (June 20, 2017); Times of Israel Staff, “Top PA official accuses Israel of inciting, glorifying terror,” The Times of Israel (June 23, 2017); Itamar Marcus and Maurice Hirsch, Adv., “Special Report: PA abuses goodwill of International Red Cross (ICRC) to pay salaries to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons,” Palestinian Media Watch (June 22, 2017).

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