Fatah officials made repeated statements in recent weeks praising deadly terror attacks on Israelis, and calling for “blood” to “purify” Jerusalem of Jews.
The calls for violence came amid a series of terror attacks over the last month that left six Israelis dead and dozens injured.
According to Palestinian Media Watch, in a message broadcast November 7 on the Palestinian Authority’s official television channel PA TV, the head of the Media Department for Fatah in Lebanon Muhammad al-Biqa’i praised the Palestinians who carried out three recent terror attacks that killed four Israelis and left a rabbi in critical condition.
Al-Biqa’i sent a blessing of “praise and esteem” to Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, Ibrahim al-Akary, and Mu’taz Hijazi, according to a translation provided by PMW.
“They are the ones who heard the call of Yasser Arafat, while the Arab and Islamic nation ignored his call: ‘Millions of martyrs (shahids) are marching to Jerusalem,'” al-Biqa’i said. “They came out with their weapons, with their true belief that Jerusalem needs blood to purify itself of Jews.”
Last week, a representative of the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs called on Palestinians to “rush to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices and blood.”
In a speech reported in al-Hayat al-Jadidah on Friday, official Hassan al-Saifi said that “Jerusalem has no need of declarations or religious rulings, but rather needs the religious scholars in particular to fulfill their duty, rush to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices and blood.”
Anti-Jewish sentiments were also expressed by the host of a popular game show broadcast on PA TV on November 9. The host praised the same three terrorists for their attacks, referring to them as “heroic martyrs of Jerusalem” and also recalled Kheir Hamdan, an Israeli-Arab man shot dead by police after he attacked a squad car with a knife.
“Greetings and honor to our heroic martyrs, the martyrs of Jerusalem — Hijazi, al-Shaludi, al-Akary, and lately also Kheir Hamdan from Kafr Kanna,” the host said. “Our greetings to the martyrs’ families. We stand submissive and humbled in view of what you gave and sacrificed. You are confronting the ever-aggressive settler herds in the streets of Jerusalem.”
On October 22, al-Shaludi drove his car into a Jerusalem Light Rail station, killing three-month-old Israeli-American Chaya Zissel Braun and Karen Yemima Muscara, 22, of Ecuador. Seven other were also injured in the attack. Al-Shaloudi was shot by police as he tried to flee the scene and died of his wounds in hospital.
A week later, Mu’taz Hijazi, a member of Islamic Jihad and a formerly released prisoner, shot Rabbi Yehudah Glick — a prominent activist who campaigns for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount — outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. Glick was seriously wounded, but survived the attack. Hijazi was killed by police during a gunfight hours after the attack.
On November 5, al-Akari drove his car into a different light rail stop, killing two people and injuring another 13. He was shot and killed by police during the attack.
Last week, two Israelis were killed in stabbing attacks by Palestinians on the same day.
Israel Defense Forces soldier Almog Shiloni was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv; and 26-year-old Dalia Lemkus was killed outside the Alon Shvut settlement in the West Bank last Monday.
Israel has deployed hundreds of police reinforcements to the capital in recent weeks in response to the unrest in East Jerusalem, which has also spread to the West Bank and Arab communities across Israel, raising fears of a new Palestinian uprising.
The Temple Mount — known to Muslims as the al-Aqsa compound — which is the holiest site in Judaism, and the third-holiest in Islam, has also been the source of increased tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report.