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December 17, 2018 10:54 am

For Palestinians, Incitement Is a Way of Life

avatar by Eyal Zisser / Israel Hayom / JNS.org

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Israeli soldiers and medics are seen at the scene of a terrorist attack at the Givat Asaf junction in the West Bank, Dec. 13, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

JNS.orgPalestinian terrorism again reared its ugly head in ‎Judea and Samaria last week, reminding all of us ‎that the war on terror is ongoing, bloody, and filled ‎with both successes and failures. ‎

Like previous waves of terrorism, this, too, shall ‎eventually pass, but we cannot treat it as a fated decree ‎that cannot be changed and must be ‎accepted. We can and should combat terrorism. Even if this war cannot actually be won, we much minimize its effects. ‎

One of the first steps should be eradicating the ‎celebrity status that terrorists achieve in Palestinian ‎society and — worse — the respect they are shown by ‎Palestinian Authority (PA) officials, who pretend to be ‎on Israel’s side in the war on terror. ‎

The Palestinian leadership repeatedly embraces these ‎terrorists, offering prisoners and their families ‎generous financial assistance, thus communicating to ‎the Palestinian public that these individuals are ‎heroes when it should be denouncing their actions.‎

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This overt support stems from the rivalry between ‎the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. The legitimacy ‎of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ ‎rule has been considerably eroded. Given Hamas’ ‎various political achievements, the PA is becoming ‎less and less relevant, while Gaza’s rulers are ‎gaining support across the West Bank, leaving ‎Ramallah’s officials only one course of action to ‎retain whatever relevance they have left: ‎supporting terrorism. ‎

Still, one must admit that beyond cold political ‎considerations, PA officials ‎embrace terrorists because they see ‎attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians as a ‎legitimate instrument in the “war against the ‎occupation.” ‎

In this reality, there is little wonder why ‎terrorism keeps rearing its head. The road to combat ‎this phenomenon runs through Ramallah and must ‎include efforts to curtail Palestinian incitement as ‎the first step to eliminate the support that the ‎Palestinian public and its leaders show for ‎terrorists.

Eyal Zisser is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University.

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