The Palestinian Authority has honored the terrorist responsible for the "Passover Massacre," a 2002 bombing of Netanya's Park Hotel that killed more than 30 mostly elderly Israelis attending a Seder. The Israeli government is terming the "gift" from its Palestinian counterpart as "a bizarre and troubling way to mark the upcoming Jewish holiday of festival of Passover."
"Despite an often voiced Palestinian commitment to end the glorification of terrorists and incitement to violence," Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Karake on March 28 gave the family of Hamas terrorist Abbas Al-Sayed "an official, festive plaque, in celebration of the anniversary of the massacre," said the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
Al-Sayed had planned the Park Hotel bombing down to the minutest details, the statement added, helping bomber Abdel-Basset Odeh check his explosives, write a will, and make his 'martyrdom' video.
It is the latest, and perhaps most disturbing, example in a Palestinian campaign of honoring terrorists. Days before saluting Al-Sayed, Palestinian Media Watch reported, Karake honored female suicide bombers to mark International Women's Day and Mother's Day. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also saluted female terrorists who aided or participated in suicide bombings on local radio.
That afternoon, he condemned a bombing that had just occurred at a Jerusalem bus stop, saying that such "shameful" attacks in the past had caused "heavy damage" on the Palestinian cause.
Sporting events and social events are also frequently named after suicide bombers, such as a March 31st soccer tournament and a March 30th karate championship.
Palestinian TV has also glorified suicide bombing. Several broadcasts in 2010 saw mothers of suicide bombers praising the action of their children and calling for more attacks. On September 24, 2010, a channel linked to the governing Fatah party featured an interview with the mother of a 'martyr.' "If I were young and could bear children who would fight the way my children fought, and another generation of my children could arise, I would do it," she stated. An April interview for the same station featured a mother saying that her "glory and honor is that my son is a Shahid [martyr]."
The promotion of violence on official television stations reflects its popularity in Palestinian culture. A recent poll by the Palestinian Authority's daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, found that 32% of Palestinians supported the March 11th murder of a settler family. The terrorist slit the throats of a baby, small children, and their parents.