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PMW report leads to removal of terrorist monument in Jenin - but monument later restored
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PMW report leads to removal of terrorist monument in Jenin
- But monument later restored
  • Following Israeli protests, Jenin mayor decided to remove monument honoring terrorist Khaled Nazzal who planned terror attack in which 22 children and 4 adults were murdered
  • However, following Palestinian pressure, Jenin mayor changed his mind and restored the monument
  • Palestinians claim: “Netanyahu threatened to invade Jenin”
    Israel “would immediately destroy the entire square themselves with their bulldozers” if monument not taken down
    g
  • Jenin mayor: “The square still bears the name of Martyr Khaled Nazzal, and it will also continue to bear his name as the municipality council decided on that name”
Nan Jacques Zilberdik
 
Last week Palestinian Media Watch exposed that the PA had named a square in Jenin after terrorist Khaled Nazzal who planned the attack that led to the murder of 22 children and 4 adults in the Ma'alot Massacre on May 15, 1974. A monument with an inscription had also been erected in his honor at the square. 
 
 
 
Following PMW’s report on the terror glorifying square, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted his outrage and the mayor of Ma’alot Shlomo Bohbot wrote a letter to PA Chairman Abbas urging him to dismantle the monument.
 
Jenin Mayor Dr. Muhammad Abu Ghali claimed that Israel threatened to “destroy the entire square” in case the monument was not removed. An op-ed in the official PA daily went as far as claiming that Netanyahu had “threatened to invade Jenin”:
 
“One of the new examples of the persecution of the living (i.e., eternal) Martyrs as part of Israeli policy is the government of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s threat to invade Jenin if the [Jenin] Municipality and [Jenin] District refuse to remove the Martyr Khaled Nazzal monument.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 25, 2017]
 
“He [Jenin Mayor Dr. Muhammad Abu Ghali] said that what happened was done after the matter had reached ‘the highest political echelons’ in the office[s] of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [US President Donald] Trump, to the point that ‘the Israeli impudence’ reached the level of ‘sending a clear message to the PA that it must take down the stone on which the name of the Martyr was written,’ or else the occupation forces ‘would immediately destroy the entire square themselves with their bulldozers.’ Based on this, the decision was made in coordination with the Martyr’s brothers in Germany and Qabatiya to remove [the monument].”
[Al-Ayyam, June 24, 2017]
 
The mayor of Jenin used these claims to justify to Palestinians his decision to remove the monument. On the other hand, he confirmed that the name of the square would remain unchanged:
 
“The square still bears the name of Martyr Khaled Nazzal, and it will also continue to bear his name as the municipality council decided on that name.”
[Al-Ayyam, June 24, 2017]
 
An article on the independent Palestinian news website Pelest showed the Martyr Khaled Nazzal Square after the removal of the monument:
 
 
[Pelest, independent Palestinian news website, June 23, 2017]
 
However, due to pressure from the Fatah Movement and others, the mayor of Jenin later agreed to reestablish the monument:

 
  
Posted text: “#Pictures, after popular pressure and [pressure] from the factions, the Jenin Municipality reinstated the Martyr Khaled Nazzal monument to its place in the center of Jenin. The municipality previously removed the monument due to a request from the Israeli occupation.”
[Facebook page of Quds, independent Palestinian news website, June 24, 2017]
 
Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, who is a regular columnist for the official PA daily defended the PA’s custom of naming squares after terrorist murderers, as this is part of the Palestinian “national narrative”:
 
“The Palestinian Martyrs (Shahids) from all ends of the Palestinian political spectrum are lauded symbols in the pages [of the history] of our national struggle, and they are nobler, more honored, and more distinguished than all of us...
At the height of the heated conflict between the [Palestinian] national narrative and the false Zionist narrative that contradicts history and geography, the extremist Zionist leadership of Israel is attempting to ‘dissolve’ the national narrative by persecuting its symbols... the extremist right-wing government can invade Jenin and all of the Palestinian cities, but it must not invade the national narrative, and it must not harm the status of any Martyr from among the Martyrs of the Palestinian Arab people. Israel and the US must not extort any Palestinian so that he renounces those who have written the pages [in history] of the people’s praise and the [Palestinian] cause.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 25, 2017]
 
He further criticized the mayor of Jenin for “giving in” to Israel:
 
“The Martyr Nazzal monument, which was restored by members of the Jenin branch of the Fatah Movement, reflects the conscious and responsible national will, which understands the severity of the structural flaw in the outlook of those who almost damaged the Palestinian narrative (i.e., who temporarily removed the monument due to Israeli pressure). [Those people] did not grasp the dangerous consequences of their wretched step when they acceded to Israel’s will and [the will] of those who act like Israelis, because they are short-sighted and did not see beyond their noses. Therefore, well done fighters of Fatah and the national activity factions, who mobilized to defend the heroic Martyr Khaled Nazzal monument...”
 
The Jenin organizational branch of the Fatah Movement repeated the claim ”that the monument was removed after Israeli threats to destroy the square,” and Fatah added:
 
“After the inauguration of Martyr Commander Khaled Nazzal Square, who died as a Martyr 31 years ago, the Israeli persecution of the Martyr is continuing with incitement to remove the monument that was placed in his memory in Jenin. We in the Martyr Yasser Arafat branch of Fatah in Jenin emphasize our absolute opposition to the Israeli threats to destroy the square, and our Martyrs will continue to be a red line that nobody can cross, whatever the price may be.”
[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 24, 2017]
 
The following are longer excerpts of the reports on the terrorist square in Jenin:
 
Excerpt of an op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “The Martyr Nazzal monument remains”
“The Palestinian Martyrs (Shahids) from all ends of the Palestinian political spectrum are lauded symbols in the pages [of the history] of our national struggle, and they are nobler, more honored, and more distinguished than all of us...
At the height of the heated conflict between the [Palestinian] national narrative and the false Zionist narrative that contradicts history and geography, the extremist Zionist leadership of Israel is attempting to ‘dissolve’ the national narrative by persecuting its symbols...
One of the new examples of the persecution of the living (i.e., eternal) Martyrs as part of Israeli policy is the government of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s threat to invade Jenin if the [Jenin] Municipality and [Jenin] District refuse to remove the Martyr (Shahid) Khaled Nazzal monument (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 31), a member of the Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] central committee who was killed by the Mossad (i.e., Israeli Secret Intelligence Service) in June 1986 in Athens. It would appear that there are those who almost submitted to the Israeli extortion, on the pretext of profit-loss considerations.
Yes, the extremist right-wing government can invade Jenin and all of the Palestinian cities, but it must not invade the national narrative, and it must not harm the status of any Martyr from among the Martyrs of the Palestinian Arab people. Israel and the US must not extort any Palestinian so that he renounces those who have written the pages [in history] of the people’s praise and the [Palestinian] cause.
The Martyr Nazzal monument, which was restored by members of the Jenin branch of the Fatah Movement, reflects the conscious and responsible national will, which understands the severity of the structural flaw in the outlook of those who almost damaged the Palestinian narrative (i.e., who temporarily removed the monument due to Israeli pressure). [Those people] did not grasp the dangerous consequences of their wretched step when they acceded to Israel’s will and [the will] of those who act like Israelis, because they are short-sighted and did not see beyond their noses. Therefore, well done fighters of Fatah and the national activity factions, who mobilized to defend the heroic Martyr Khaled Nazzal monument...
Martyr Nazzal was a national figure of stature who led in defending the people. Due to the importance of his role in the struggle, the Mossad assassinated him in Athens. It is the obligation of all the sons of Palestine in the interior (i.e., the PA areas), in the Interior of the interior (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel), and in the diaspora to highlight his role and status, as is befitting the Martyr leaders, and not to give up the monument, which was established to glorify his life of struggle - regardless of Israel’s threats. [Israel] will not stop with the removal of the Martyr Khaled monument, but rather will continue to extort us regarding our identity, our names, our birthdates, and the livelihood of our prisoners and their relatives. Every time that we retreat before it in the name of the superficial argument of flexibility and cutting corners, it will persecute us until we turn into slaves of its colonialist narrative’s will and logic. Therefore, regardless of the threats, we must not renounce any Martyr from among the Martyrs of the [Palestinian] people or any prisoner from among its prisoners.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 25, 2017]
 
Headline: “Fatah rebuilt the Martyr Nazzal monument and square in Jenin”
“The Jenin organizational branch of the Fatah Movement emphasized that it was agreed with Jenin Mayor Dr. Muhammad Abu Ghali to return the monument and square to the way they were.
Fatah said in a statement, a copy of which reached [the independent Palestinian news agency] Ma’an, that the monument was removed after Israeli threats to destroy the square, and the [mayor’s] goal was to guard Jenin’s infrastructures as the mayor has begun to draft plans for their development in order to turn Jenin into a leading city, [but now] he has ordered to reinstate the monument to its place.
Fatah added in the statement: ‘After the inauguration of Martyr (Shahid) Commander Khaled Nazzal Square (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 31), who died as a Martyr 31 years ago, the Israeli persecution of the Martyr is continuing with incitement to remove the monument that was placed in his memory in Jenin. We in the Martyr Yasser Arafat branch of Fatah in Jenin emphasize our absolute opposition to the Israeli threats to destroy the square, and our Martyrs will continue to be a red line that nobody can cross, whatever the price may be.’
Fatah expressed appreciation for the committed position of the municipality, which has proven the depth of the connection with the Martyrs.”
[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 24, 2017]
 
Headline: “The Jenin Municipality reinstated the Martyr Khaled Nazzal monument”
“The Jenin Municipality on Saturday morning [June 24, 2017] reinstated the Martyr (Shahid) Khaled Nazzal monument (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 31) to Haifa Street in the center of the city, and this was after it was destroyed two days ago.
Martyr [Nazzal’s] wife, Rima Nazzal, said that the Jenin Municipality changed its mind on the removal of the Martyr Khaled monument and returned it to its place. This was after a large meeting with the Nazzal family at the town of Qabatiya, in the presence of a senior official of the Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] in the village.
She [Rima Nazzal] emphasized that the public and social activity played a large part in the pressure on the Jenin Municipality to change its mind on removing the monument, ‘because the Martyrs’ dignity and the heritage of their struggle is a red line that must not be crossed by anyone.’”
[Quds, independent Palestinian news website, June 24, 2017]
 
Khaled Nazzal - Secretary of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and commander of its military branch. He was responsible for terrorists taking school children as hostages and murdering 22 children and 4 adults in Ma’alot (May 15, 1974), the murder of 4 hostages in an apartment building in Beit Shean (Nov. 11, 1974), and a shooting and grenade attack in central Jerusalem in which 1 was murdered and 47 others were wounded (April 2, 1984).