BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK - DECEMBER 23: (ISRAEL OUT) A woman lights candles in the Church of the Nativity on December 23, 2010 in Bethlehem, West Bank. Thousands of pilgrims will make their way to the Church of the Nativity this week to worship at the sacred site believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM – Jesus was the first Palestinian martyr while the Virgin Mary was a Palestinian “par excellence,” according to Palestinian Authority television.

The television network, run by PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, also implied the late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat followed in the footsteps of Jesus.

“The shahid (martyr) President Yasser Arafat used to say: ‘Jesus was the first Palestinian shahid.’ I heard him say that sentence many times,” stated Samih Ghanadreh, an author who was being interviewed on Fatah television earlier this month.

Jesus “was a Palestinian; no one denies that,” replied the Fatah host.

Jesus “was the first Palestinian shahid. [Arafat] attributed this martyrdom to Palestine, as well,” stated Ghanadreh.

The word shahid, or martyr, is routinely used to describe suicide bombers or those who die while carrying out jihad.

A report by Palestinian Media Watch, which translated the Fatah program, stated, “One of the ways the Palestinian Authority attempts to create a Palestinian history is to deny the Judean/Jewish nationality of Jesus and misrepresent him as a ‘Palestinian.'”

The organization documented other recent instances in which Jesus and Mary were described as Palestinian by Fatah television.

Also, earlier this year the Fatah Communications and Education Authority issued a statement on the official Fatah website claiming Mary was “of the nation of Palestine.”

“If we are proud of the holiness of our land, then we are proud and pride ourselves that the first and most important holy woman among the nations and peoples is from the holy land: The Virgin Mary – the woman of love and peace – is of the nation of Palestine.”

Last May, in a televised speech, PA religious leader Muhammad Hussein declared, “Jesus was born in this land; he took his first steps in this land and spread his teachings (of Islam) in this land. He and his mother, we may say, were Palestinians par excellence.”

Fatah officials routinely claim Jesus was a prophet for Islam.

In a previous WND exclusive interview, Taysir Tamimi, chief Palestinian Justice and one of the most influential Muslim leaders in Israel, argued the Jewish Temples never existed, the Western Wall really was a tying post for Muhammad’s horse, the Al Aqsa Mosque was built by angels and Abraham, Moses and Jesus were prophets for Islam.

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