Senior Palestinian Authority official, Jibril Rajoub, branded terror attacks against Israelis as “heroic” and praised individual attacks as acts of noble self-sacrifice, in an interview on official PA TV on Saturday.
Rajoub said: “Clearly, these are individual attacks, but they are heroic, characterized by self-control and a value system”.
Rajoub is the former chief of the powerful Preventative Security Force in the West Bank, and currently the deputy secretary-general of Fatah’s Central Committee.
He cited ‘the will for the martyr’ posted on Facebook by terrorist Bahaa Allyan — who killed two Israelis and injured others in an attack on a Jerusalem city bus this month — in which Allyan asked that no Palestinian faction claim responsibility for his act. Speaking of the terrorist’s post, Rajoub said: “This [will] should become a document taught in schools about the meaning of martyrdom and patriotism, rather than factionalism”.
Israel has consistently accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA of inciting Palestinians to violence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Abbas of spreading “incitement and lies”. He said that “while Israel protects the status-quo on the Temple Mount, Abbas has used religion to incite more acts of terror”.
Last week, in his first televised speech since the recent outbreak of violence, PA President Abbas referred to “the summary execution of our children in cold blood, as [Israel] did with the child Ahmed Manasra and other children in Jerusalem and other places”.
He received much criticism for wrongly claiming that Ahmed Manasra was killed by Israeli police, when in reality Manasra is being treated at Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center.
13-year-old Manasra was run over and shot by Israeli police as he tried to escape after stabbing two young Israelis in Jerusalem with his cousin Hassan, who was shot dead by police. A photograph of Manasra recovering in hospital was tweeted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, with a caption: “The ‘murdered Palestinian martyr’ a few minutes ago at Hadassah Hospital”.