TEL AVIV — The Fatah movement, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has harshly condemned an incident in which the IDF destroyed a monument erected in the center of Jenin to a Palestinian terrorist who was involved in the murder of dozens of Israelis.
Palestinian media reported that on Friday morning a group of IDF soldiers destroyed the monument to Jamal Nazal, who was the head of the so-called military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group. According to the Palestinian report, IDF soldiers left a written declaration at the scene stating, “The site was destroyed because of incitement and because it praises a terrorist responsible for terror attacks against Israeli civilians.”
Nazal was involved in the planning of many attacks against Israelis. The most severe was a massacre perpetrated in Ma’alot in northern Israel in 1974. The attack killed 26 Israelis, 22 of whom were students taken hostage in a school by a cell from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine on a mission from Nazal.
Two weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Palestinian Authority’s decision to erect the monument for Nazal, and claimed that Abbas is poisoning Palestinian youth against Israel. Netanyahu called on Abbas “to educate Palestinian youth for peace and not for terror.”
Nazal was assassinated in Athens in 1986, an act Palestinians blame on Israeli intelligence.
The Fatah movement in Jenin released a statement after the destruction of the monument by IDF soldiers, criticizing Israel for the incident. The statement called the Palestinians the sons “of Yasser Arafat, Ahmed Yassin [the founder of Hamas] and of George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [which was responsible for dozens of attacks and airplane hijackings].”
The statement praised Nazal and called him, “One of the leaders of the Palestinian military revolution who led many quality attacks including that in Ma’alot, the attack in Beit Shean, the attack in Tiberias, an attack in Jerusalem and a raid on Israel’s Tourism Ministry.”
The statement accused Israel of harming “the international right bestowed upon Palestinians to praise the martyrs and their heroic deeds for the sake of freedom from the occupation, the same occupation that UN resolutions condemn.”
The Fatah movement also called the destruction of the monument “a barbaric act that won’t change the reality that the square will continue to be named after the martyr Nazal. … The martyr Nazal’s name will remain alive in the consciousness of future generations. The heroic deeds of our martyrs will continue to be a title in the pages of history. Glory to the martyrs of the Palestinian revolution.”