Days after Israel returned the bodies of 91 militants to the Palestinians in a goodwill gesture aimed at resuming peace talks, a Palestinian Authority (PA) television program hailed the dead terrorists as role models to be emulated, according to a Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin.
"Unfortunately, we couldn't part from them [the terrorists] or even embrace them," began the statement on the PA TV youth program, Speak Up. "But were satisfied standing before their bodies, standing up before their sanctified message: The homeland won't die, but we will die for it. These [Martyrs] are more honored than all of us... They are the greatest role models for us, not only because they fought and struggled for the homeland, but also because they went beyond the sacrifice [of] strain and effort, to the stage where they actually sacrificed their lives for the homeland."
In addition to PA TV, the program is co-produced by PYALARA, an NGO for youth funded by the European Union, Save the Children, and other international donors.
The remains of 79 militants, all with Israeli blood on their hands, were returned to the PA in the West Bank, where they were honored in a "national rally" for "martyrs" at the headquarters of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. At the ceremony, PA Secretary General Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim and the Mufti of the PA, Muhammad Hussein, urged the crowd to "follow in the path" of the fallen "martyrs."
The remaining 12 bodies were transferred to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, where they were also given military honors.
While Israel and the United States hoped the gesture would "get the peace process back on track," the PA, like its terrorist counterparts in the Gaza Strip, seems committed to the path of violence to create a Palestinian state.
Just last month, on May 18, another PA TV and PYALARA program, Jerusalem Scenes, glorified terrorist prisoners serving multiple life sentences for orchestrating suicide bombings that killed innocent Israelis. The EU-funded program interviewed the family members of three terrorists in the "Silwan Cell," which was responsible for three terror attacks in 2002 that killed 35 people.
"I am proud and pride myself on having a son in prison," said the mother of Wisam al-Abbasi, who is serving 26 life sentences for his membership in the cell.
"I always remember Alaa—a person of exalted moral values," the father-in-law of Alaa al-Abbassi told the PYALARA interviewer, referring to another "Silwan Cell" member serving 60 years in Israeli prison.