Terrorist Appointed as Mahmoud Abbas’ Deputy, But the World Stays Silent
On February 15, Fatah appointed Mahmoud Al-Aloul as a deputy and possible successor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Unfortunately, just like Abbas, Mr. Al-Aloul is a terrorist who has condoned violence against Israelis. And unsurprisingly, the global media — which seems uninterested in reporting unflattering stories about the Palestinians — has largely ignored the news of his selection.
According to a policy brief by analysts Grant Rumley and Evan Charney of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Al-Aloul previously served as an assistant to Palestinian terrorist Khalil al-Wazir, better known by his nom de guerre of Abu Jihad.
Abu Jihad was one of the early founders of the Fatah movement. As Middle East analyst Efraim Karsh noted in his 2003 biography of Yasser Arafat, Abu Jihad oversaw the assassination of US diplomats in Khartoum, Sudan, in March 1973. Abu Jihad was also responsible for perpetrating and planning numerous terrorist attacks against Israelis, including the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 38 civilians, including 11 children, were murdered.
In addition to his involvement in murdering no less then 124 Israelis, Abu Jihad also served as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah’s liaison with the Soviet Union, the Syrian Baathist party and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Abu Jihad was killed by Israeli forces in 1988, but a PA-funded museum at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem is named in his honor — as are at least eight streets in PA-controlled areas.
Al-Aloul’s activities would no doubt make his mentor proud.
In their report, Rumley and Charney pointed out that Al-Aloul, who is also sometimes referred to as Abu Jihad, participated in numerous PLO terror raids, including leading a 1983 operation that captured six Israeli soldiers. After his boss’ death, Al-Aloul became the chief of the PLO’s activities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Al-Aloul became governor of the Nablus region in the aftermath of the Oslo Accords. In 2006, he joined the Palestinian Legislative Council and became the PA’s Labor Minister, before moving up to Fatah’s Central Committee in 2009.
Yet Al-Aloul’s foray into politics hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for terror. As The Jerusalem Post reported in October 2012, Al-Aloul has repeatedly reaffirmed his — and Fatah’s — commitment to anti-Jewish violence.
For example, in an interview with the Watan TV station, Al-Aloul was adamant that “no one has dropped the [phrase] armed resistance from [the] dictionary.” As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and others have noted, “armed resistance” is a euphemism for terrorism.
Al-Aloul has also not shied away from celebrating terrorist attacks. For example, when an Israeli couple – Eitam and Na’ama Henkin — were ambushed and shot while driving in a car with their four children on October 1, 2015, Al-Aloul took to Facebook to proclaim that a Fatah unit “accepted responsibility” for the murder of the couple.
Like many of his compatriots, Al-Aloul also has a checkered record with the truth. According to Palestinian Media Watch, Al-Aloul falsely accused Israel of carrying “out daily executions of children and of the rest of our people on roads and at checkpoints,” in a June 24, 2016, edition of the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.
The lack of media coverage about Al-Aloul’s background is striking. Major US news outlets, including The Washington Post and USA Today, failed to report that Al-Aloul was now Abbas’ vice president — or report on his ties to terrorism.
Indeed, in the 48 hours after Al-Aloul was announced as the deputy to an 81-year old, ailing autocrat and major recipient of Western aid, the Post and USA Today ran no less than five stories on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But none of them mentioned this development. The stories also omitted all mentions of Palestinian terrorism, and the PA’s refusal to live side by side with a Jewish state. And, of course, the articles didn’t mention that a former terrorist — whose nickname translates to “father of jihad” — had been promoted to a senior role that could make him the next head of the PA.
The writer is a Research Analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. The views expressed are his own.