Wednesday, March 29th | 8 Nisan 5783

March 9, 2023 11:40 am

News Outlet Publishes Sympathetic Piece About Murderous Palestinian Teenage Terrorists

× [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

avatar by Rachel O'Donoghue


Illustrative: The weapon used in a suspected terror attack in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Neve Ya’akov, on January 27, 2023. Source: Twitter

The latest example of “terrorism apologist journalism” came from the global wire service AFP, which published a piece this week that attempts to understand why young Palestinians have perpetrated several terror attacks.

The article, “Hardened and hopeless, young Palestinians commit bloody attacks,” describes how over the past few weeks, there have been a number of knife and gun attacks against Israelis by Palestinian teenagers, including one in which a police officer was stabbed to death by a 13-year-old.

Focusing on the alleged motivation behind these attacks, AFP quotes the seemingly bewildered mother of the teen murderer who stabbed Staff Sgt. Asil Sawaed, 22, numerous times in the face and neck on a bus that had stopped at a security checkpoint:

The mother of one of them, Fidaa al-Zalabani, 38, recounted how she, her husband and eldest son were all questioned by police after her son was arrested for the attack.

‘They accused me of being an accomplice, of having known what my son was going to do and protecting him,’ she said, recalling that she was questioned for seven hours.

“But no mother tells her son to go and stab a police officer.”

While there is no suggestion that Zalabani had any prior knowledge of her son’s plans, the insinuation that Palestinian families are often blindsided by terror attacks bears no resemblance to reality, considering that perpetrators are invariably vaunted in their local communities and that the Palestinian education system glorifies them.

Also quoted is Ramallah-based psychiatrist Mahmoud Sehwail, who claims every young terrorist is haunted by “trauma” and asserts that the root cause of terrorism is the “Israeli occupation of the West Bank.”

Sehwail also confidently states that “violence will end when the occupation ends” — apparently forgetting that Arab-on-Jewish violence long predates the very establishment of the State of Israel, such as the 1929 Hebron massacre.

Other individuals called on by AFP to speculate about the issues driving these young terrorists include fringe Israeli activists, who suggest youngsters are driven to murder because they feel “helpless” and are worried about being evicted from their homes.

Besides wild conjecture, the AFP fails to mention the two most glaring motivational factors behind Palestinian terrorism — namely, the school textbooks taught in Palestinian schools that encourage “martyrdom,” and also the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s “pay-for-slay” policy that financially rewards terrorists.

As HonestReporting has previously highlighted, schools under the control of the Palestinian Authority have been found to be teaching children using educational materials that present Jews as “devious, treacherous and hostile” and encourage kids to “die as martyrs.”

However, the most obvious omission is AFP’s failure to even reference the “martyrs’ fund,” which sees the PA pay vast sums of money to terrorists, with larger amounts awarded according to the severity of the attack.

AFP’s article echoes another piece by fellow wire agency Reuters, which went to great lengths to humanize a Palestinian terrorist who opened fire on an Israeli man and his son last month, describing the teen militant as a budding chef and soccer fan.

We can only hope such pieces are not the beginning of a trend in which Palestinian terrorists are given a free pass of sorts because of their age.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.