Fatah celebrated the 51st anniversary of its founding last week at a rally in Bethlehem, where masked young Palestinian children were photographed dressed in toy suicide belts and equipped with model guns and RPGs.
Fatah is the West Bank-based movement headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on the Fatah event, specifically mentioning the fact that children participated in the procession brandishing toy weapons and ‘suicide belts’, however the PA mouthpiece did not express any reservation or disapproval over the display.
The paper wrote on 8th January 2016: “Children were seen carrying models of RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and explosive belts, and they all walked through the alleys of the refugee camp in the procession, during which the sound of songs of the national revolution were heard”.
A number of top Fatah and PA officials were present at the rally, including Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul, Head of the General Intelligence Services Majed Faraj, and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Rula Ma’ay’a.
The Fatah movement’s official Facebook page last week also expressed support and approval for the Tel Aviv murderer. Nashat Melhem, an Israeli Arab, shot and killed three Israeli civilians at on New Year’s Day. Two Israelis were killed and 8 injured in the initial shooting attack at a pub in central Tel Aviv. An hour after the pub shooting an Bedouin Israeli taxi driver was found shot dead in his vehicle in another part of Tel Aviv; the police announced on 7th January that he was murdered by the same gunman. After a week-long manhunt, Milhem was shot and killed by security forces.
The Fatah movement’s page said they had “opened a mourning tent for the heroic Martyr (Shahid) Nashat Melhem. It added: “congratulations and may Allah receive you in Heaven”.