Palestinian Authority education officials in the West Bank governorate of Tulkarem last week held an event for high school girls supporting Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, including some who masterminded deadly terror attacks against Israelis.
Local politicians turned out at the Adawiya Girls High School in the city to found a garden in honor of Palestinian prisoners. Teenage girls were given posters to express their support for the jailed Palestinians.
Many of the Palestinians in question were convicted of deadly attacks. One of the teenage girls photographed with the officials held a poster in support of convicted Palestinian terrorist Abbas Al-Sayed, who is serving 35 life sentences in Israeli prison for his role in plotting attacks against Israelis.
Al-Sayed is particularly notorious for helping to plot the 2002 Netanya Park Hotel suicide bombing that left 30 civilians dead and 140 wounded. The attack was one of the bloodiest in the Second Intifada.
“Because you are free — support their freedom,” the poster read, next to a stylized drawing of Al-Sayed.
Other students supportively held photos of other convicted terrorists, including Nasser Abu Hmeid, whom Israel says was responsible for the murder of seven Israelis in separate attacks.
The activity was exposed by Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors incitement to violence and hate speech in Palestinian media.
تربية طولكرم تحيي يوم الأسير الفلسطيني في مدرسة العدوية ￼أحيت مديرية التربية والتعليم في طولكرم، اليوم، يوم الأسير…
As part of the PA-sponsored event, the Tulkarem high school students also paid homage to the six Palestinian security prisoners who last year participated in a jailbreak that captured the attention of both Israelis and Palestinians. Some of the fugitives had unrepentantly confessed to involvement in attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Israel has repeatedly denounced what it considers incitement to terror and hate speech in Palestinian media and textbooks. American and European legislators have also held hearings on the matter.
The Palestinian Authority says that its media and curricula content reflect the national narrative and do not constitute hate speech.
The European Union, the PA’s largest donor, has become embroiled in months-long bureaucratic deadlock over whether to condition a small fraction of its aid to Ramallah on changes to PA education materials. Although European and Palestinian officials have repeatedly met in recent month, there has yet to be a solution to the freeze in aid.