JERUSALEM – While Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quick to condemn today’s deadly shooting massacre in Jerusalem, news websites affiliated with Abbas’ Fatah organization labeled the attack “heroic.”
“In a heroic act of martyrdom, at least one hero infiltrated a Zionist school in occupied Jerusalem,” stated the beginning of a news dispatch on Fatah’s Firas Press website translated by WND.
Another Fatah-affiliated news site, PalPress, also used the term “heroic” to label today’s attack, in which at least eight Jews were killed and another dozen were wounded, some seriously.
“President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the attack in Jerusalem that claimed the lives of many Israelis, and he reiterated his condemnation of all attacks that target civilians, whether they are Palestinians or Israelis,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters today.
Meanwhile, the Fatah-affiliated news websites were brimming with congratulatory nods to Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades for today’s attack, even though the Brigades did not claim responsibility for the mass shooting. An Israeli-Arab group did.
Most talkbacks were signed by Palestinians in the West Bank. Talkbacks on PalPress included:
“Kol Hakavod” – Hebrew for “More honor to you.”
“We bless you for the attacks.”
“Allah is great.”
“The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are the heroes.”
“Allah bless the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.”
“We strengthen Al Aqsa and we ask them for more.”
Also today, upon news of the attack, celebrations reportedly broke out in the Gaza Strip, where news footage showed thousands of Palestinians in the streets distributing sweets, dancing and firing their rifles into the air. Local mosques announced prayers of celebration.
According to reports, one, possibly two gunmen infiltrated the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, located near the entrance to Jerusalem, and fired hundreds of rounds of bullets at students. One terrorist, who may have been armed with an explosive device, made his way to the yeshiva’s main study room, where about 80 students were reportedly gathered.
Israeli police said eight were killed and nearly a dozen were wounded, some seriously.
“[The terrorist] fired 500-600 bullets,” Michael, a student who was in the yeshiva, told Israel’s Channel 2 television. Michael, who would not give his last name, said most of those injured and killed were teenagers.
One terrorist reportedly was shot to death by a student who was armed with a rifle. It was not immediate clear if a second terrorist was present, escaped or was possibly hiding in the yeshiva. Police were searching the yeshiva and went house-to-house in the immediate vicinity of the school in search of a possible second gunman.
The Mercaz Yeshiva is well known for its religious Zionism and its affiliation with what is known as the settlement movement, or the movement associated with Jewish communities in the West Bank.
An Israeli-Arab group calling itself the Freedom Brigades of the Galilee took credit for the shooting, claiming it was to avenge the assassination in Syria last month of arch-Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, who topped Israel’s most wanted list and was responsible for infamous deadly attacks against the U.S. and Israel, including involvement in the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon.
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