Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas awarded medals to the first male and female jailed Fatah members and the group's first "martyred" terrorist, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.
The awards came in advance of today's "Palestinian Prisoners Day."
Fatima Bernawi was the first woman in Fatah jailed for terrorist activity, an article posted Thursday on Fatah's Egyptian website said.
According to the MEMRI translation: "Bernawi was arrested in October 1967 after she placed a bomb in the Zion Cinema in Jerusalem. She was sentenced to life in prison, but was released after ten years… Bernawi was one of the first Palestinian women to adopt [the means of] armed self-sacrifice operations after the start of the modern Palestinian revolution, which was launched by Fatah on January 1, 1965."
Abbas also issued a medal honoring Ahmad Moussa Salama, who was killed while conducting Fatah's first terrorist attack on Israel's National Water Carrier – the day Fatah considers the start of "the modern Palestinian revolution" in 1965.
That attack took place two years before Israel assumed control of the West Bank and Gaza following the Six Day War. So if it was intended as a blow against Israeli "occupation," it shows that the PLO/Fatah considered all of Israel "occupied territory" that needed to be "liberated." While the PA insists it has abandoned its goal of destroying the Jewish state, honoring terrorists who worked toward that goal calls that commitment into question.
And it comes two months after a New York jury found the PA liable for $218 million in damages for attacks which killed and wounded Americans during the second Intifada. U.S. anti-terrorism law automatically tripled that award to $655 million. Among the exhibits admitted into evidence were PA financial records showing that it continues to pay employees jailed by Israel on terror charges and continues to provide money for families of terrorists killed carrying out attacks against Israelis.
One 2002 report sent to the PA's General Intelligence Service chief praised a West Bank terror squad for its "high quality successful attacks." The squad's "men are very close to us (i.e. to the General Intelligence) and maintain with us continuous coordination and contacts," the report said.
Longtime PLO Chairman and founding PA President Yasser Arafat's handwritten consent appears on PA documents detailing the payments to the terrorists and their families that later were seized by Israeli military forces.