TEL AVIV – In the latest farce in the Palestinian Authority’s theater of the absurd, the PA’s chief peace negotiator slammed Israel over the death of a Hamas terrorist responsible for murdering a prominent rabbi at the beginning of the month.
29-year-old Muhammad Fakia resisted arrest and was subsequently killed in a raid by Israeli forces from the IDF, the Shin Bet security agency, and the police. A gun battle ensued when Fakia opened fire on Israeli troops from inside the house, which led to the IDF responding with anti-tank missiles. The events prompted PA negotiator Saeb Erekat to call his death a “crime.”
Hamas praised Fakia as the “hero of the Otniel attack” for shooting and killing Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark, as he drove with his wife and two of his 10 children in the West Bank. His wife, Hava Mark, was wounded critically and two of his children sustained moderate wounds.
A relative of Fakia’s accused the PA’s security forces of tipping Israel off as to the whereabouts of the terrorist.
In Fakia’s hometown in the West Bank, a general strike was declared in his honor. Violent riots also broke out in an attempt to stop the IDF raid.
In 2006, Fakia served a four year prison sentence for planning attacks against Israelis for the terror group Islamic Jihad. During his time in jail, Fakia shifted loyalties and became a member of Hamas.
During the raid, Fakia’s accomplices to Mark’s murder were arrested, including the driver, Muhammad Amira, 38, who also served as a member of the PA’s national security forces. Amira led the Shin Bet to the vehicle and weapon used in the attack.
Fakia’s brother and cousin was also arrested for aiding and abetting.
Israeli news site NRG reported that the Mark family responded to the arrests with both relief and anger. While they were thankful the perpetrators were caught, they were outraged by the knowledge that one of the terrorists was employed by the PA security forces and that the others had served time in Israeli prisons.