JERUSALEM – Three Palestinian terrorists who were convicted of taking part in an infamous lynching in October 2000 that saw the mutilation and murder of two Israeli reserve soldiers have been honored as “heroes” by a television show broadcast on the Palestinian Authority’s official TV station. The families of the three have so far received more than NIS 2 million ($585,000) in the PA’s pay-for-slay scheme.
The two reserve soldiers, Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossi Avrahami, accidentally entered Ramallah and were detained by Palestinian police. A mob of local Palestinians found out where they were being held and subsequently stormed the police station, brutally killing the soldiers before dumping their bodies in the street.
Three of the lynchers who are currently serving prison sentences in Israel were recently honored by official Palestinian Authority TV in an episode of “Giants of Endurance,” a program that honors terrorists by visiting their families, Israeli monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch reported. The host described Habbes Bayyoud, Muhammad Nawarah, and Jawad Abu Qara, as “heroic.”
A famous photo (below) shows one of the lynchers, Aziz Salha, gleefully displaying the blood of the victims on his hands to the mob outside the station.
Israel released Salha in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal with Hamas in 2011.
On the show, Nawarah’s sister says that her brother “makes her proud.”
“Muhammad is a handsome guy and makes one proud. I am proud that I have a brother like Muhammad. … Thanks to him, we raise our heads and feel proud,” she said according to a translation by PMW.
After visiting the three terrorists’ families, the host wishes them “and all of our prisoners full freedom.”
In accordance with PA law, the families have been awarded a combined total of NIS 2,023,600 ($583,606) since their relatives’ arrest.
Last week, the Knesset passed a bill that allows the Israeli government to deduct the payments for the PA’s so-called pay-for-slay scheme from the taxes Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians.
The PA warned Israel that the new law constituted “a declaration of war on the Palestinian people.”
“The Palestinian presidency strongly refuses to accept this severe decision, which damages the foundations of the relations since the Oslo Agreement to this day,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said. “If this decision is implemented, it will prompt important Palestinian decisions to deal with it.”
The PA Finance Ministry noted that the Ramallah-based government was paying prisoners and their families roughly NIS 100 million each month.
“This issue is considered a red line which no one can cross. It’s a declaration of war against the Palestinian people, its fighters, its prisoners and its fatalities, who have carried the flag of freedom for Jerusalem and the establishment of the independent Palestinian state,” Rudeineh said.
“The Israeli government must back down from its decisions and stances so that we don’t reach a dangerous, dead-end road.”
Youssef Al-Mahmoud, a spokesman for the PA government in Ramallah, also condemned Israel’s move, saying the money belonged to the Palestinians and Israel had no right to withhold it and was violating signed agreements.
“This money belongs to the Palestinian people and this is legislation to steal the money of the prisoners and the martyrs who are symbols of freedom for us and they must not be harmed,” Mahmoud said.