PA: "Death [of a teenager] as a Martyr
is the path to excellence and greatness,
and the path of those
who know how to reach the great victory"
Since fear of death is a natural inhibiting factor to participating in violence and terror, to mitigate this fear, the Palestinian Authority educates its children that death as a Martyr should not be feared. Martyrdom, the PA teaches, is the highest achievement and is more valuable and more rewarded than life itself.
The Palestinian Authority reminded its people of this principle following this week's publication of the results of the matriculation exams. The announcement of the official PA news agency WAFA focused on those teenagers who had been killed in the recent terror wave, most of whom were killed while committing terror attacks. The PA glorified the teenage terrorists who missed their exams, and instead of criticizing their terror, put them on a pedestal saying that their teenage Martyrdom was "the path to excellence" and "the great victory":
"The day of the publication of high school matriculation exam results is known as a day of long expectation, and as a first step in the realization of the aspirations... Some of them are disappointed because they did not receive the grade they hoped for or did not succeed. Some of them view this day as the day of their birth and the start of their path in life, work, and building. However, the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and their relatives find themselves proud of the Martyrdom (Shahada, note play on words, also means "certificate") that their children achieved with the Creator and in the homeland...
Sixteen [students] succeeded [in achieving] the Martyrdom (Shahada) of the homeland and withstanding its difficult tests, for death as a Martyr is the path to excellence and greatness, and the path of those who know how to reach the great victory..."
[WAFA (official PA news agency), July 11, 2016;
official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 12, 2016]
Palestinian teenagers' willingness to go out on what are probably suicide missions, is in all likelihood the result of years of PA education presenting Martyrdom death as the Palestinian ideal. Palestinian education starts inculcating this message when children are very young. One example: The PA-funded youth magazine Zayzafuna published a poem that defines the essence of being a Palestinian as being a Martyr, three times in recent years.
"If you know that you were born with a death sentence, and if you go to your death without caring - then you're a Palestinian!
If your song is the song of Martyrdom (Shahada), and death, for you, is birth - then you're a Palestinian!
If you love death, and you say the Shahada [declaration] (i.e., the Islamic creed: "There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is Allah's messenger") aloud - then you're a Palestinian...
If you have watered the tree of the homeland with your free blood, with love, and have offered the remnants of your bodily parts as a bridge for those who are yet to come - then you're a Palestinian...
If your wedding (i.e., a Martyr's death and funeral in Islamic tradition are a wedding to 72 Maidens of Paradise) was amidst a hail of bullets between the shoulders of friends [who carried your body], against the sound of tears mingled with joy and the searing pain of separation - then you're a Palestinian, and you're full of pride at being a Palestinian."
[Zayzafuna magazine, September 2013, June 2013, and January 2012]
PA TV has had young children appearing on PA TV singing the praises of Martyrdom, reciting songs and poems like the following:
"When we become Martyrs we'll go to Paradise.
Don't say we're young. This way of life has made us adults...
Without Palestine, what meaning is there to childhood?
Children, you performed the (religious) duty and Sunna (Islamic tradition):
There is no God but Allah, and the Shahid (Martyr) is Allah's beloved.
You have taught us the meaning of heroism...
Even if they were to give us this world and all of its treasures, no, it would not make us forget [Palestine]. Not at all.
It is my country and [I give] my blood for its sake."
[Official PA TV, April 13, 2011]
How effective is the Palestinian Authority messaging encouraging its children to seek Martyrdom?
The Palestinian children who were watching PA TV five years ago hearing the words "When we become Martyrs we'll go to Paradise," and reading PA magazines that "If your song is the song of Martyrdom and death, for you, is birth - then you're a Palestinian," are the age of the teenage terrorists today, who are running out trying to stab Israelis, who in the words of the official PA news agency, achieved "excellence" and "great victory" through their Martyrdom.
The following are longer excerpts of this news report and other reports and social media posts honoring the student terrorists as "Martyrs" (Information on the terrorists and their attacks below):
Headline: "'High school matriculation exam Martyrs (Shahids)' - present in blessings to their schoolmates"
Sub-headline: "Sixteen male and female students succeeded [in achieving] the Martyrdom (Shahada) (i.e., play on words - Shahada can also mean certificate) of the homeland and withstanding its difficult tests"
"The day of the publication of high school matriculation exam results is known as a day of long expectation, and as a first step in the realization of the aspirations of tens of thousands of students who sat on the school benches for 12 years. Some of them are disappointed because they did not receive the grade they hoped for or did not succeed. Some of them view this day as the day of their birth and the start of their path in life, work, and building. However, the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and their relatives find themselves proud of the Martyrdom (Shahada, also means "certificate") that their children achieved with the Creator and in the homeland...
Sixteen [students] succeeded [in achieving] the Martyrdom (Shahada) of the homeland and withstanding its difficult tests, for death as a Martyr is the path to excellence and greatness, and the path of those who know how to reach the great victory. Sixteen male and female high school students died as Martyrs, leaving behind them friends, ambitions, and a feeling of heaviness in the hearts of their family members and loved ones, who had waited for this day to bless them on their success. However, the bullets of the criminal occupation got them and stole their chance of bringing joy to their families and homes on this event [of receiving exam results].
The 16 Martyrs who did not take the high school matriculation exams are:
Mustafa Adel Al-Khatib of Jerusalem
Dania Jihad Arshid of Hebron
Ahmad Awad Abu Al-Rab of Qabatiya in Jenin
Ahmad Muhammad Kamil of Qabatiya in Jenin
Nour Al-Din Saba'aneh of Qabatiya in Jenin
Ashraqat Taha [Ahmad] Qatanani of the Askar refugee camp in Nablus
Adnan Ayed Al-Mashni of Hebron
Muhammad Nabil Halabiyeh of Abu Dis in Jerusalem
Kalzar Al-Awiwi of Hebron
Mahmoud Muhammad Issa Shalaldeh of Sa'ir in Hebron
Muhammad Hashem Zaghlawan of Qaryout in Nablus
Labib Khaldoun Azem of Qaryout in Nablus
Ahmad Younes Kawazbeh of Sa'ir in Hebron
Ahmad Sami Ismail Amer of Mas'ha in Salfit
Yusuf Walid Al-Taraireh of Bani Na'im in Hebron
Sawsan Mansour of Biddu in Jerusalem
According to the Prisoners' Ministry (sic., PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs), dozens of high school students who were recently arrested are sitting behind bars in the occupation's prisons."
[WAFA (official PA news agency), July 11, 2016;
official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 12, 2016]
Image and text posted on the official Fatah Facebook page:
Posted text: "Sixteen male and female students who were supposed to wait now for the announcement of the [high school matriculation exam] results
But they achieved Martyrdom (Shahada, note play on words - Shahada also means 'certificate' - Ed) before everyone else
This is #Palestine"
Text on image: "Fatah Movement
The high school student Martyrs (Shahids) of 2016
16 Martyrs [all names follow]
Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, July 11, 2016]
Palestinian terror wave (2015-2016) - Palestinian violence and terror attacks against Israelis, including stabbings, shootings, throwing Molotov cocktails, and car rammings. It started in September 2015 and as of July 13, 2016, Palestinian terrorists murdered 40 people (36 Israelis, 1 Palestinian, 2 Americans, and 1 foreign worker from Eritrea) and injured over 500.
Mustafa Al-Khatib - 18-year-old Palestinian terrorist who tried to stab a soldier near the Lions' Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem on Oct. 12, 2015 and was shot and killed by Israeli police.
Dania Arshid - 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist who when asked to identify herself at a military checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Oct. 25, 2015, refused and ran towards the Israeli border policemen with a drawn knife. She was shot and killed by them.
Ahmad Abu Al-Rab - Palestinian terrorist who, together with another terrorist, tried to stab an Israeli soldier at the Jalame checkpoint near Jenin on Nov. 2, 2015. A soldier shot at them and killed Al-Rab, and the second terrorist was arrested.
Ahmad Kamil - 16-year-old Palestinian terrorist who disguised himself as a candy seller and tried to stab a security guard at the Jalame checkpoint near Jenin on Oct. 24, 2015. He was shot and killed by a security guard.
Muhammad and Nour Saba'aneh - 17 and 23-year-old Palestinian terrorists who stabbed and injured 2 Israeli soldiers at a gas station in Hawara, south of Nablus, on Dec. 27, 2015. Muhammad and Nour Saba'aneh were both shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.
Ashraqat Taha Ahmad Qatanani - 18-year-old female Palestinian terrorist who attempted to stab an Israeli girl, running after her with a drawn knife, on Nov. 22, 2015, at a junction near Nablus. Former head of the Shomron regional council Gershon Mesika foiled her attempt by running his car into her when he saw her attempted attack. Israeli soldiers then shot Qatanani. The PA reported that she died of her injuries, but this has not been officially confirmed.
Adnan Al-Mashni was killed on Jan. 12, 2016 when Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian terrorist who tried to stab them in Beit Anoun northeast of Hebron. Apparently Al-Mashni did not take an active part in the attack.
Muhammad Halabiyeh - 18-year-old Palestinian terrorist who died on Jan. 24, 2016, at the Israeli security fence near Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem, when a bomb that he apparently intended to use against Israeli border police forces who were passing by at the time exploded.
Kalzar Al-Awiwi - 18-year-old Palestinian female terrorist who attempted to stab Israeli policemen near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Feb. 13, 2016. She was shot and wounded by Israeli policemen and later died of her wounds.
Mahmoud Shalaldeh - 18-year-old Palestinian who was killed on Nov. 13, 2015, during clashes with Israeli soldiers in Sa'ir northeast of Hebron. PMW has been unable to verify the circumstances surrounding his death.
Muhammad Zaghlawan and Labib Azem - 17-year-old Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated the town of Eli southeast of Ariel, breaking through the town's security fence on March 2, 2016. Armed with clubs and knives they broke into the home of reserve army commander Roi Harel. Zaghlawan and Azem wounded Harel but he managed to push them out. When Israeli soldiers and members of the town's security team found Zaghlawan and Azem lying in wait for more victims, the terrorists tried to attack and were shot and killed by the soldiers. An improvised handgun was found by the town's security fence where Zaghlawan and Azem apparently had dropped it.
Ahmad Younes Kawazbeh - 18-year-old Palestinian terrorist who stabbed and injured an Israeli reserve soldier at the Gush Etzion junction on Jan. 5, 2016. Kawazbeh was shot and killed by soldiers.
Ahmad Amer - 16-year-old Palestinian terrorist who tried to stab Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint at the village of Al-Zawiya west of Ariel on March 10, 2016. Amer was shot and killed by the soldiers.
Yusuf Al-Taraireh - 18-year-old Palestinian terrorist who carried out a car ramming attack at the entrance to Kiryat Arba located just east of Hebron on March 14, 2016. Al-Taraireh wounded an Israeli army officer before being shot and killed by other Israeli soldiers who were at the scene. Two additional soldiers were wounded by shrapnel from the gunfire.
Sawsan Mansour - 17-year-old female Palestinian terrorist who tried to stab an Israeli soldier at the Ras Biddu checkpoint north of Jerusalem on May 23, 2016. Mansour was shot and killed by an Israeli border policeman.