Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) praised the murder of Taylor Force, an American West Point graduate visiting Israel with a group from Vanderbilt University, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist during a stabbing spree yesterday at the Jaffa port, reports Palestinian Media Watch.
Mr. Force, 29, of Lubbock, Texas, had served with the U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn (Iraq), and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). His wife was also severely injured in the attack outside Jaffa.
A dozen Israelis were also wounded in three separate Palestinian terrorist attacks on Tuesday.
Official PA TV glorified the terrorist by calling him a "Shahid" (martyr).
"A complex operation was carried out in Jaffa, or more precisely in the Jaffa port, by the Martyr (Shahid) - according to Hebrew sources and sources in Qalqilya - Bashar Masalha, 22... in which 12 settlers were hurt, among them an American tourist who was killed, according to the Hebrew sources," stated an official PA TV reporter on March 8.
PA TV also referred to Force and the other victims as "settlers." However, Force is not Israeli and was located in Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, within pre-1967 Israel borders. Palestinian factions from Fatah to Hamas often refer to all Israelis as "settlers," implying that all of Israel is a colonial implant on "occupied" territory. Such a classification encourages Palestinian terrorism since the PA believes killing settlers is allowed under international law. By calling Force a "settler," the PA TV justifies his murder and places blame on the victim.
Furthermore, Fatah honored the terrorists who were killed after conducting three separate attacks against Israelis on Tuesday.
"In the Martyrs' (Shahids') homeland and on the day the Martyrs are roses, flying to their Creator, to Allah's mercy. O the pride of all of the young Palestinians, may your blood remain a source of true honor for the homeland for which you sacrificed all - even your precious lives. We promise you that your blood will continue to be a torch that illuminates our path, until we achieve what you died for as Martyrs. Your blood has taught us a lesson in the school of life: #The_homeland's_honor_is_above_all," read a March 8 post on Official Fatah's Facebook page.
Today, Fatah posted pictures of the terrorists on its Facebook page, along with text that reads: "Happy are the Martyrs (Shahids) #Continuing_toward_true_freedom_and_honor"
Fatah and the PA – led by President Mahmoud Abbas – continue to incite violence against Israelis and encourage Palestinians to follow in the terrorists' footsteps. The glorification of terrorists who murder Israelis continues to fuel the ongoing wave of Palestinian violence over the past 5 months that has claimed the lives of 34 individuals.
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that the terrorist attacks in Israel should be condemned "not just from Israel and the United States, but by countries around the world, including the leader of the Palestinian people."
However, a Fatah official explained why Abbas and the Palestinian leadership avoid condemning terrorist attacks against Israelis.
"We do not condemn the operations which have been going on for some time because the Israeli army carries out daily killing operations against the Palestinians without the Israeli government condemning them. They should not ask from us what they do not do," said Fatah's Amin Maqbool in a telephone conversation with Xinhua and translated by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The U.S. State Department issued a press release condemning the March 8 attacks but also urged "all parties to take affirmative steps to reduce tensions and restore calm."