TEL AVIV – The families of teenage Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israeli prisons were invited to Jerusalem over the weekend for a special Iftar dinner, the traditional break-fast meal for the Muslim festival of Ramadan, Ynet news reported.
Each family was given a gift, including a commemorative plaque and a mug featuring a photo of its jailed relative. The event was attended by former Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, known for routinely expressing extremist views.
One of the families participating in the dinner was that of Muawiya Alqam, a 14-year-old who was imprisoned for carrying out a stabbing attack on the Jerusalem light rail in November 2015 with his 11-year-old cousin, Ali.
Because of his age, Ali was not prosecuted under criminal law, and instead is serving a year-long sentence in an institution headed by the Ministry of Welfare with regular furloughs every fortnight. Ali was present at Saturday’s dinner.
“Sadly, once again religious bodies who are supposed to moderate are leading incitement in Jerusalem,” said Maor Tzemach, chairman of the Lach Yerushalayim (To Thee Jerusalem) organization, which seeks Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.
“The Sheikh Sabri, one of the leaders of the incitement campaign against the state of Israel, led the fundraising for the families of terrorists in Jerusalem whose homes were demolished by the IDF. More than once, in his sermons in (the al-Aqsa mosque), he’s incited against Israel,” he added.
Tzemach continued, “And now he’s complimenting terrorist activity by granting it legitimacy and social backing. We call on Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan to combat the incitement bodies and their leaders, such as Sheikh Sabri, and to expel them from the city of Jerusalem.”
Sheikh Sabri, who served as the mufti of Jerusalem from 1994-2006, holds views which are more in line with Hamas than the Palestinian Authority. For this reason, he was removed from his post by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the report said.
Last week also saw officials from both the Palestinian Authority and Fatah holding national rallies to celebrate the release from prison of Abd Al-Fattah Doleh, a terrorist involved in one of Israel’s most heinous murders – that of Israeli teenager Ofir Rahum, who in 2001 was killed after being lured to the West Bank by a female terrorist he met and fell in love with online.