analysisIsrael at War

‘Revitalized’ PA includes brazen terror supporters

By including open supporters of terrorism in its new government, the Palestinian Authority is making a mockery of the U.S. demand for “revitalization.”

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas (left) with newly appointed P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, March 14, 2024. Source: Wafa news agency.
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas (left) with newly appointed P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, March 14, 2024. Source: Wafa news agency.
Itamar Marcus. Credit: Courtesy.
Itamar Marcus
Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch.

The Palestinian Authority has announced a new government as part of its fulfillment of the U.S. demand that it “revitalize” ahead of taking power in Gaza after the elimination of Hamas. However, for the P.A., “revitalization” does not preclude religious incitement to terror and demonizing Jews as “apes and pigs,” supporting terror and terrorists or rejecting Israel’s legitimacy as a state.

Muna al-Khalili, the P.A.’s new Minister of Women’s Affairs, is an outspoken terror supporter, having publicly glorified the murder of 37 Israeli civilians. As chairwoman of the PLO General Union of Palestinian Women, al-Khalili spoke at an event in 2018 honoring Dalal Mughrabi, who led the most murderous terror attack in Israel’s history prior to Oct. 7. On March 11, 1978, Mughrabi led a team of PLO terrorists who hijacked a civilian bus and murdered 37 civilians, including 12 children and American photographer Gail Rubin.

In her speech, which was reported in the official P.A. daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on March 12, 2018, al-Khalili praised the murders as a “quality resistance operation.” She also praised the decision to appoint a woman to lead the massacre, calling Mughrabi the “head of a squad of self-sacrificing fighters [fedayeen]” and saying that she “proved that Palestinian women are capable of carrying out the most difficult missions.” 

Three weeks after Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre, al-Khalili brazenly supported Palestinians’ right to “resist”—the P.A. euphemism for terror and murder. She also denied Israel’s right to exist in any borders, calling Israel an “occupation for the past 75 years,” i.e., since Israel’s founding.

PLO General Union of Palestinian Women
PLO General Union of Palestinian Women–General Secretariat, Oct. 17, 2023. Source: Facebook.

Speaking at an Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate conference, she said, “We in the General Union of Palestinian Women emphasize the Palestinian people’s right to resist the occupation [i.e., Israel] that has continued for the past 75 years, [a right] that is anchored in the resolutions of the international institutions,” according to the PLO website on Oct. 26. “We emphasize that there will be no peace or stability in the entire region and the world without the Palestinian people receiving its legitimate rights—self-determination, freedom, independence in its sovereign state whose capital is Jerusalem—and without a just resolution for the refugees’ issue according to [U.N.] Resolution 194.”

The General Union of Palestinian Women that al-Khalili heads held a vigil calling for the release of terrorist prisoners just 10 days after the Oct. 7, 2023 atrocities. Al-Khalili sat right behind four posters featuring the names and pictures of terrorist murderers imprisoned in Israel for past terror attacks, each with the text: “Freedom for the heroic prisoner.”

From left to right in front of al-Khalili are posters honoring Ibrahim Hamed, a Hamas leader responsible for the murder of at least 53 people in a series of bombings: Sheffield Club (15 murdered), Hillel Cafe (seven murdered), Hebrew University (nine murdered), Moment Cafe (11 murdered) and Zion Square (11 murdered); Akram Hamed, who murdered three people; Marwan Barghouti, who orchestrated attacks in which at least five people were murdered; and Ali Barghouti, who aided Marwan Barghouti and also murdered Palestinians he suspected of aiding Israel.

New P.A. Minister of Religious Affairs Mustafa Najem

The “revitalized” P.A. government also includes religious leader Muhammad Mustafa Najem as its Minister of Religious Affairs. Najem openly called for terrorism in a sermon aired on official P.A. TV during the Second Intifada (2000-2005). More than 1,100 Israelis were murdered during this period. Najem framed his incitement as a religious imperative: “O servants of Allah, be the ones through which Allah will afflict the Jews with the worst torment.”

Najem went on to say that Jews are “characterized by conceit, pride, arrogance, rioting, disloyalty and treachery,” adding that “Allah turned them into apes and pigs” while quoting from the Koran. It is of note that, basing himself in religion, Najem portrays Israel as inherently evil and therefore irredeemable, fated only to torture and punishment.

“Praise Allah … it is He who warned us of the Jews and of the Jews’ ethics in the clearest manner, and He fought them and waged jihad against them—after they attempted to murder the call [to Allah] from its foundations and to murder Prophet [Muhammad] in a political murder,” he said.

“The Jews—as is their practice, and as Allah described them in His book [the Koran], and in the Prophet’s tradition [the Hadith]—are characterized by conceit, pride, arrogance, rioting, disloyalty and treachery,” he continued.

“And they were jealous of the Muslims because the Prophet was not one of them. They are still jealous; they were jealous and they are still jealous. They killed, and they are still killing. They betrayed, and they are still betraying. They spilled blood, and they are still spilling blood, and so on and so forth …

“The same goes for their rulers, any political party or any group, it is all the same. Whether the crime rates are on the rise or the decline, they have a common denominator and it is hostility to Islam and the Muslims, hostility to the bearers of the truth, hostility to the sons of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, hostility to the bearers of the historical truth in this land …

“Therefore, [violence and crimes] are not an exception to them and their nature, due to which Allah turned them into apes and pigs: ‘So when they were insolent about that which they had been forbidden, We said to them, “Be apes, despised.” … And [mention] when your Lord declared that He would surely [continue to] send upon them until the Day of Resurrection those who would afflict them with the worst torment. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful’ [Quran 7:166-167]. O servants of Allah, be the ones through which Allah will afflict the Jews with the worst torment …

“Allah, grant us victory over the Jews and those who side with them! Allah, grant us victory over the Jews and those who side with them! Allah, grant us victory over the Jews and the patrons of the Jews’ arrogance!”

By including terror supporters such as Najem and al-Khalili in its new government, the P.A. is making a mockery of the U.S. demand for “revitalization.”

Originally published by Palestinian Media Watch.

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