The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Education has recently planted 13 olive trees in a garden at the Zibda School for Girls southeast of Jenin, honoring 13 Arabs with Israeli citizenship who are imprisoned for terrorism, some of them for murder, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported.
Interviewed at the event, Director-General of the PA Ministry of Education’s Directorate of Education in Jenin, Salam Al-Taher, declared that “the prisoners are the symbol of freedom, and we always teach our children freedom. How will they learn the meaning of freedom if we don’t speak about the prisoners who are in the occupation’s prisons?”
“We won’t rest or be silent as a Palestinian people until the occupation’s prisons are emptied of our heroic prisoners,” she added.
Among the “heroic prisoners” the PA honored are the cousins Karim and Maher Younes who kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980. The cousins were originally sentenced to life in prison but President Shimon Peres reduced their sentence in 2012 to 40 years. Their pictures were displayed next to the olive tree saplings planted to glorify them.
This tree planting ceremony follows another PA initiative in which the PA will plant a tree for every Arab who has died as a “Martyr” since 1917, including numerous terrorists and murderers, among them suicide bombers.
In all, the PA plans to plant 35,000 trees, many of them in schoolyards, directly making the glorification of terrorists and murderers part of the school curriculum.
Launching the initiative commemorating the dead terrorists, the Director-General of Youth Affairs at the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Muhammad Sbeihat, explained that the intention is “not only to plant saplings but also that they will be visible to our children, our students, our young men and women.”
In addition to PA institutions, the organizations invited to take part in the glorification of murderers are scouts groups, school students, and youth clubs.
“Both events underscore the PA’s policy of promoting terrorist murderers as role models to Palestinian youth, urging them to die as ‘Martyrs for Palestine,” PMW underscored.
Nan Jacques Zilberdik, senior analyst at PMW, said that “it is shameful that the PA continues to taint young Palestinian minds with this kind of role modeling. When kids are taught that murderers are heroes, and that ‘the armed struggle’ is valid, peace will be a long time coming.”
The PA educational system has repeatedly been accused of poisoning the minds of its students by educating them to hate Israel and Israelis and through terror-promoting messages. The system has been found to use cultural mediums such as school plays, sports events, and summer camps for this objective.
In line with this policy, the PA has named at least 28 schools after terrorists and at least three schools after Nazi collaborators. The PA Ministry of Education is directly and solely responsible for naming schools.