The Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to incite hatred by glorifying terrorists as national heroes. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) is reporting that the PA and Fatah dedicated a forest to arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, a Fatah founder and deputy to Yasser Arafat. Abu Jihad led the PLO's military wing, planning ruthless attacks. The PA's daily newspaper credited him with killing at least 125 Israelis.
Late last year, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas posthumously awarded Abu Jihad, with the "Star of Honor," calling him "the model of a true fighter and devoted leader."
Abu Jihad, whose real name was Khalil al-Wazir, was killed in Tunisia in 1988, planned the most lethal terrorist attack in Israeli history, the Coastal Road Massacre. Terrorists hijacked of a bus and murdered of 37 civilians, including 12 children. Several PA officials, including the Minister of Agriculture and several mayors from the Hebron district, attended the inauguration ceremony.
"Abu Jihad remained [active] on the ground from the start of his Jihadist activity in 1955 until his Martyrdom in 1988. He was the spearhead of the bullets of the true resistors, and the first truly upright rock," a column in the PA's daily newspaper said.
The PA has glorified terrorists in the past. A summer camp in Bethlehem was named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led the terrorists in the Coastal Road Massacre. More than a dozen West Bank institutions are named for Mughrabi, including a girl's high school, another PMW report said. The same report cited 46 different terrorists glorified in PA institutions, including Abu Iyad who was responsible for the Munich Olympics massacre.
Many argue that Palestinian official incitement is directly linked to surges in terror activity. Despite professed PA commitments to the peace process, Palestinian officials continue to institutionalize the glorification of terrorists and murderers as national heroes that future generations should admire and emulate.