Palestinian Leaders Continue to Encourage Terrorist Attacks
Palestinian social media networks continue to play a vital role in promoting the recent wave of violence targeting Israelis, reports the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
On February 18, two Palestinian youths stabbed two Israelis in a supermarket located in the Sha’ar Binyamin area. One of the victims, a 21 year old off-duty Israeli soldier, later died of his injuries, while the other Israeli was critically wounded.
The terrorists — Iham Sabah and Omar Samir Taha al-Rimawi — were both 14 years old and from a village west of Ramallah.
The terrorists’ Facebook pages featured similar violent sentiment associated with Palestinians previously responsible for attacking and killing Israelis.
Last year, al-Rimawi expressed support on his Facebook page for other Palestinian “shaheeds” (martyrs) who had carried out attacks against Israelis, and revealed an interest in emulating similar terrorist acts.
“We will live like proud hawks…and we will die like proud-standing trees,” posted al-Rimawi on his Facebook page, expressing a desire for self-sacrifice.
While most of the Palestinian terrorists who have mounted recent attacks do not appear to be primarily motivated by religious ideology, some of them frequently relied on Islamic terminology and justification to carry out their attacks. Likewise, Al-Rimawi also praised shahadah — death as a martyr for Allah’s sake.
Many of al-Rimawi’s Facebook friends supported his desire for martyrdom, including Iham Sabah, who helped him stab Israelis in the supermarket. No one among al-Rimawi’s social network attempted to dissuade him from carrying out the attack.
Al-Rimawi also “adopted” terrorist Ibrahim Daoud as his personal role model. Daoud, 17, died during violent clashes with Israeli soldiers on November 26, 2015.
There was no mention of any particular Palestinian faction in either of the boys’ social media posts, corroborating the view that the recent terrorist campaign is largely spontaneous and lacks organizational direction.
Nevertheless, Palestinian officials from across the political spectrum continue to fuel the violence by publicly glorifying the terrorists and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.
Hamas spokesman Husam Badran praised the 14-year-old terrorists and the “intifada youth,” referring to the attack as a “natural response” to “Israel’s crimes,” and encouraged other Palestinian youth to conduct terrorist attacks.
On February 21, senior Fatah official Sultan Abu al-Einein glorified the terrorists on his Facebook page.
“Iham [Sabah] and Omar [al-Rimawi], you are our leaders,” posted al-Einein.
He praised what he referred to as the highly professional nature of the stabbing attack. Notable Fatah and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials, particularly al-Einein, have repeatedly expressed explicit support for Palestinian terrorists who attack Israelis — glorifying their images in official media outlets, attending government sponsored funerals of the attackers, and providing assistance to terrorists’ families.
These developments highlight the important role Palestinian officials and social media play in promoting ongoing terrorist attacks against Israelis and Jews.
Click here for the full Meir Amit Center report.
Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) where this article first appeared.