JERUSALEM – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas invited the mother of four jailed terrorists to a special meeting at his office to reassure her that her sons’ “just cause” and his desire to “ease their suffering” was high on his agenda.
Latifa Abu Hmeid, known by the nickname Um Nasser Abu Hmeid (“the mother of Nasser”), earned notoriety in Palestinian society for the “honor” of having birthed five terrorists, Palestinian Media Watch reported. Four of them are serving 18 life sentences between them in Israeli jails for orchestrating or aiding terror attacks.
Latifa’s nickname comes from her son Nasser Abu Hmeid, a former commander of Fatah’s so-called military arm, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, who is serving seven life sentences and 50 years for murdering seven Israeli civilians and 12 attempted murders. Um Hmeid’s fifth son, Abd Al-Mun’im Muhammad Yusuf Naji Abu Hmeid, was a member of Hamas who ambushed and murdered an Israeli intelligence officer. He was killed and thus earned the title of “hero martyr.”
In an act of solidarity with her four imprisoned sons, Um Hmeid has joined in the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.
At the event in his office, Abbas reiterated that the prisoners are one of the PA’s main concerns.
“The president noted that the prisoners’ cause is a priority among the issues in which the leadership is interested. He called on everyone to stand alongside the prisoners and their just cause, and to ease their suffering and their families’ suffering,” he said, according to the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.
A delegation of Fatah officials visited the Um Hmeid home to show their support. The delegation included Abbas’s Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul and Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen. Al-Aloul emphasized Fatah’s support for the imprisoned terrorists, stating in comments quoted by the independent PA news agency Ma’an that “Fatah will always remain loyal to the Martyrs and prisoners’ promise, and will continue its struggle until the release of all of our prisoners from the occupation’s prison.”
In addition to Um Hmeid, Latifa has also earned the nicknames “The Oak Tree of Palestine” and “Khansa of Palestine.” Khansa refers to a woman from Islam’s earliest days who sent her four sons to battle and rejoiced when they were all killed as martyrs.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida published an op-ed that declared that Latifa Abu Hmeid is so great that “Palestine” itself should be renamed after her.
“I read that they call Latifa by names such as The Oak Tree of Palestine, Khansa of Palestine, and so forth. All these names seem to me to be insufficient, and to diminish her value, for what would we lose if we change the language and call the oak tree, Khansa, and Palestine itself by Latifa’s name?” read the op-ed.