The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed to the continuing encouragement and support for terrorism from the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Salaam Fayyad, and other senior PA officials, who honored as martyrs the three terrorists who murdered Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai in a drive by shooting last week. The three terrorists were later found and killed by Israeli forces after they refused to give themselves up. The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade of the PA ruling party, Fatah, the party co-founded by Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat, whose Fatah Constitution calls to this day for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an essential element in the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19), claimed responsibility for the murder of Rabbi Chai.
Abbas, often commonly and wrongly described as a moderate, declared Rabbi Chais murderers shahids [holy martyrs] and dispatched a personal emissary to visit the families of the terrorists while Abbas office said that Secretary General of the Presidents Bureau, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, conveyed condolences on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas to the residents of Nablus and to the families of the three Shahids [Martyrs] for the Martyrdom of their sons, who were assassinated by Israeli occupation forces yesterday morning. He conveyed to the fighting families letters of condolences from the President [Abbas] and updated them as to [Abbass] decision to declare them as Shahids [Martyrs] of the Palestinian revolution. Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim said, Without doubt, what the [Israeli] occupation authorities have carried out is a wild and barbaric act and a deliberate, malicious assassination in cold blood (PA TV (Fatah) News, Dec. 27, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Abbas turns 3 latest terrorists into Palestinian heroes, Palestinian Media Watch, December 29, 2009). They made no mention that these people murdered an innocent rabbi and father of seven children.
PA Prime Minster Salam Fayyad, also widely and wrongly described as a moderate and pragmatist, went even further than Abbas, personally visiting the families of the terrorists along with other senior PA officials. The PLO news agency WAFA reported that Prime Minister visits Nablus and conveys condolences to the families of the Shahids (Martyrs). Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad today visited the city of Nablus in the wake of the Israeli military operation, and presented condolences to the families of the three Martyrs who were murdered by the occupation forces. Dr. Fayyad was accompanied by Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Said Abu Ali, leaders of the security agencies, and Police Director-General Major General Hazem Atallah, and they visited the house of mourning, which was held in the Trade Unions compound in the city… The Prime Minister condemned the Israeli military operation in the city (WAFA news agency, December 26, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Abbas turns 3 latest terrorists into Palestinian heroes, Palestinian Media Watch, December 29, 2009).
The Fatah movement as a whole also glorified the dead terrorists: Mahmoud Al-Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that the occupation murdered these three young men as well as another three in Gaza, in cold blood. He described them as [military] commanders, brave heroes, and fighters (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 27, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Abbas turns 3 latest terrorists into Palestinian heroes, Palestinian Media Watch, December 29, 2009). PA TV ran an image of Fatah poster honoring the terrorists, which carried the slogan, With honor and admiration to those who are more honored than all of us.
In addition to this honoring of recent Palestinian terrorists and acts of terror, the PA and Abbas honored the memory of the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the terrorists that perpetrated the 1978 coastal road bus hijacking, in which 37 Israelis, including 12 children, were slaughtered. Mughrabi was honored with a 50th birthday celebration. The text on the giant banner carrying Mughrabis portrait at the birthday ceremony read: Under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas The Political and National Education Authority Ceremony on the anniversary of the birth of the bride of the cosmos The Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi. PA news broadcasts proclaimed that Under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas, the Political and National Education Authority held a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi, commander of the Coastal Operation (i.e. hijacking of bus and killing of 37 civilians) (PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 29, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Abbas sponsors birthday celebrations honoring terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, killer of 37, Palestinian Media Watch, December 31, 2009).
Present at the ceremony were Palestinian dignitaries and a childrens marching band. The PA further glorified Mughrabi on the date of her birth when the Governor of Ramallah announced the naming of the Dalal Mughrabi Square. Earlier this year, Abbas sponsored a computer center named after Mughrabi while Mughrabi was also gloried at Fatahs August 2009 Conference in Bethlehem. Also, an article by Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazal in the official PA daily defined the terrorist Mughrabi as the heroine of Palestines heroines (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 20, 2009, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Abbas sponsors birthday celebrations honoring terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, killer of 37, Palestinian Media Watch, December 31, 2009).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, The ZOA has long maintained that Mahmoud Abbas, the PA that he heads and the Fatah party that controls it and which he co-founded, are unreconstructed supporters of terrorism and not genuine moderates and peace makers. In fact, it is incumbent upon all civilized people to call Abbas and Fayyad as evil leaders of an evil regime. The latest evidence of Abbas obscene and shameless honoring of the murderers of Rabbi Chai conclusively demonstrates this fact. A Palestinian leader who neither arrests terrorists nor ceases to honor them is not one who will lead Palestinians on a new path of peace and reconciliation.
As we noted at the time of Fatahs August 2009 Conference, it is clear that Fatah still does not accept Israels existence as a Jewish state, that it seeks its destruction, that it demands the so-called right of return whereby Israel would be inundated with Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war and their millions of descendants and that it will not conclude the conflict even were a peace agreement to be signed. Indeed, Abbas has often stated that Fatah does not accept Israel, as in April when he declared, I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will.