Palestinians reportedly reinstall monument to Maalot terrorist
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Palestinians reportedly reinstall monument to Maalot terrorist

Tribute to ‘martyr’ Khaled Nazzal in Jenin had been removed earlier in week after intense pressure from PM Netanyahu

A monument to 'martyr' Khaled Nazzal in a Jenin square named after him. Nazzal was the mastermind of the 1974 Maalot massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 22 schoolchildren and 4 adults. (Palestinian Media Watch)
A monument to 'martyr' Khaled Nazzal in a Jenin square named after him. Nazzal was the mastermind of the 1974 Maalot massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 22 schoolchildren and 4 adults. (Palestinian Media Watch)

Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin have reportedly reinstalled a monument to a terrorist who masterminded a notorious 1974 massacre of Israeli school children, despite intense pressure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel Radio reported Saturday that the monument went back up overnight as part of an agreement between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and the mayor of Jenin.

Last week the Jenin municipality named a square and put up the stone memorial in honor of “martyr” Khaled Nazzal, who planned the 1974 Maalot massacre in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 22 school children and 4 adults.

The move prompted a Twitter outburst from Netanyahu who accused Abbas of lying that he wants peace and “poisoning” the minds of young Palestinians.

“Palestinian President Abbas tells the world that he educates Palestinian children for peace. That’s a lie,” Netanyahu tweeted.

Palestinian Media Watch reported on the naming of the square Monday, noting that Nazzal, a member of the Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine, also planned a 1974 abduction in Beit She’an which ended in the killing of four hostages, and a 1984 shooting attack in Jerusalem in which one person was killed and 47 wounded.

“Naming yet another public square for a mass murderer teaches Palestinian youngsters to murder Israelis,” Netanyahu said in further tweets. “That’s the very opposite of peace.

“President Abbas: stop poisoning the minds of Palestinian youth. Educate for peace, not terror,” he wrote.

On Saturday, Israel Radio said that following the outburst, the monument had been temporarily removed. Palestinian officials said that Israel had warned if it was not taken down the IDF would come in and remove it and destroy the square.

The dispute comes as the US has been trying to get the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Israel says Palestinians glorifying the murder of Israelis is one of the biggest impediments to peace.

Trump, in a keynote speech at the Israel Museum on his May visit, called on both sides to put aside the “pain and disagreements of the past” and declaring his belief that both Israeli and Palestinian leaders are “ready to reach for peace.”

Netanyahu has repeatedly expressed his deep skepticism of the possibility of reaching a peace deal at present, but has at the same time voiced his commitment to working with the US on the matter.

US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the Arab League Summit in Amman, March 28, 2017 (Wafa/Thair Ghnaim)
US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the Arab League Summit in Amman, March 28, 2017 (Wafa/Thair Ghnaim)

The PA and its ruling Fatah party have a long history of lionizing “martyrs” — a term given to any who die at the hands of Israel, whether civilians or terrorists, with the latter often characterized as soldiers of the “resistance.”

The UN and Norway recently pulled support for a West Bank women’s center after it was revealed it had been named after a female terrorist. Numerous institutions and public spaces have been named in similar fashion.

In December Fatah honored the “most outstanding operations” against Israel — referencing terror attacks that killed 100 civilians. In October it praised a gunman who killed two Israelis in Jerusalem.

Palestinian television, including children’s programming, is rife with anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli messages.

Israeli officials have long complained that incitement and support from the PA in the form of praise, honorifics, and cash payments to the families of Palestinians killed during attacks encourages further terrorism.

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