JERUSALEM – A Palestinian terrorist who murdered U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force was given a hero’s funeral that was described as a “large national wedding befitting of martyrs” – a reference to the 72 virgins – by official Palestinian Authority television.
Bashar Masalha went on a horrific stabbing spree killing Force, who was visiting Israel as a tourist, and wounding 11 others in Jaffa on March 8 of this year. His body was returned to the PA by Israel last week.
Hundreds attended the funeral which was broadcast on PA TV. The official PA channel called Masalha a “shahid” – or martyr – no less than eleven times. The PA news anchor also said the funeral was “a large national wedding befitting of martyrs.”
“His family, friends, and people of the region took it upon themselves to ensure that this (burial) would be a large national wedding befitting of martyrs…the martyr was accompanied to his last resting place in the cemetery for martyrs in Hajja,” he said.
Watch the broadcast below:
Muslims often compare the funerals of “martyrs” to weddings, in reference to the promise that those who kill and die in the name of Allah will receive 72 virgins upon acceptance into heaven.
The PA’s official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida emphasized that “Masalha died as a martyr after carrying out a stabbing operation in Jaffa, in which he killed an American tourist.”
Israeli media watchdog Palestinian Media Watch also reported that the day after the attack Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction praised Masalha as a “a heroic martyr.”