Palestinian media praises terrorist leader Jabari as ‘martyr’


The day after the targeted killing of Hamas terrorist chief Ahmed Jabari, the Palestinian media lead with headlines praising his “martyrdom,” despite his long history of involvement in terrorism against Israeli civilians.

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, referred to Jabari’s death as Shahada—martyrdom death for Allah—calling it “the crowning achievement of his life of struggle” and “his self-sacrificing actions (i.e., terror attacks) will be told for generations to come and will be eternalized in memory.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that, “Arab countries in the [UN] Security Council discuss courses of action to end the [Israeli] aggression.”

The PA’s support for Jabari comes despite his position as part of its rival, Hamas. The PA broke with Hamas in 2006 after Hamas forces ousted the PA from Gaza in a bloody coup d’état. Meanwhile, in Gaza, tens of thousands took to the streets for Jabari’s funeral procession from Gaza’s Omari Mosque, according to the Times of Israel.

Referred to by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as the “the military chief of staff of Hamas,” Jabari was born in 1960 in a village in Gaza. Jabari was arrested by Israeli forces in 1982 as a member of Fatah and spent 13 years in an Israeli prison where he switched allegiance to Hamas. After his release in 1995 Jabari quickly rose through the ranks of Hamas’s military wing—the Izz Adin al-Qassam Brigades—for his role in several terrorist attacks against Israel, such as a 1998 terror attack on a school bus that killed two Israeli children.

In 2002, Jabari took over as commander of Hamas’s military wing after the former commander was injured in an Israeli strike. In 2006, Jabari directed the capture of Israeli solider Gilad Shalit. 

In a 2006 interview with Al-Jazeera on the targeting of civilians, Jabari said “The Jew who comes to the soil of Palestine… is fighting us, and we will fight him and kill him,” according to PMW.

Later, Jabari received praise by Hamas’s hardline leadership for his role in securing the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit in 2011. 

Jewish groups react swiftly to escalation of Gaza rocket attacks on Israel


Jewish organizations had an outpouring of reaction on Wednesday to the escalation of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel that had started Saturday—conveying their prayers for the safety of southern Israelis, condemning the Hamas terrorism, and affirming the Jewish state’s right to respond.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a broad Gaza operation targeting Hamas terrorists, called “Pillar of Defense,” which killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari. After Jabari’s death, Hamas intensified its rocket fire.

In Kiryat Malakhi, where three Israelis were killed by a rocket that hit their home, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) said its Better Together program “is taking care of 30 displaced families whose building was bombed and deemed uninhabitable by providing basic needs and finding them temporary shelter.” JDC is also delivering food to the homes of the elderly.

“JDC’s Emergency Response Team is already helping the elderly, people with disabilities, and youth at risk, providing basic needs and emotional support during this distressing time,” JDC President Penny Blumenstein and Interim CEO Darrell Friedman said in a joint statement.

Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs, expressed “hope for the day when Palestinian leaders lay aside their hatred and arms, and reach out for peace with Israel.” She also said Hamas’s onslaught “endangers the citizens of Gaza who are being used as human shields.”

The Conference of President of Major American Jewish Organizations noted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “remains silent” despite daily Palestinian terrorist attacks.

“He has yet to condemn or criticize these blatant violations across an international border that put one million innocent Israelis in jeopardy,” Conference of Presidents Chairman Richard Stone and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said in a joint statement. 

Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, said “These latest unprovoked attacks follow years of unrelenting terror that has forced so many Israelis to live in a constant state of fear— conditions which no country would tolerate.”

“We proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with the people and state of Israel during this difficult time and pray that such attacks will soon end,” Silverman said.

American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris on Thursday criticized the United Nations Security Council for not being able to agree on a statement of concern regarding Israel’s situation during a Wednesday night emergency session in New York.

“The inability of too many world leaders to distinguish between the arsonist, Hamas, and the firefighter, Israel, is gross negligence,” Harris said. “No UN member state can honestly say it would respond differently to a neighbor dedicated to its annihilation and launching rockets to provoke a larger confrontation.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said it “stands with Israel as it exercises its sovereign right to respond to the rocket attacks launched by Hamas terrorists from Gaza.” NJDC added that it is “relieved to see that the Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted many incoming rockets, helping to save Israeli lives and property as well.”