The Palestinian leadership have been busy inciting terror both directly: by calling for a "day of rage"; and indirectly: by publicly honouring a terrorist. Considering the degree to which this is normative, it is little wonder that so many Sunni Palestinians are finding themselves attracted to the overtly belligerent, terrorist, Shi'ite Hezballah.
As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) reports: "On March 16, 2010, the Palestinian leadership — Fatah as well as Hamas — called for a 'day of rage,' inciting their followers to riot after the dedication of the newly rebuilt Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter. The synagogue had been destroyed in 1948 when Jordan seized the Jewish Quarter and expelled its residents. Following the historical pattern of their predecessors, the Palestinian leaders called for jihad in defense of Muslim holy sites, falsely claiming that the opening of the synagogue was the first step in Israel's plan to take over or destroy the Al Aqsa mosque."
CAMERA decries not only Palestinian lies, incitement and rioting, but the media's general willingness to overlook and/or excuse Palestinian lies, incitement and rioting, and blame Israel for allegedly pushing the Palestinians "over the edge".
Hezballah, of course, wasted no time in pledging solidarity with the rioters.
See Iran's PressTV 17 March.
As CAMERA notes, only days earlier, the "Palestinian Authority renamed a public square in Ramallah after Dalal al-Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, in which 38 civilians (including 13 children and an American photographer) were murdered and 71 wounded."
See Melanie Phillip's 12 March comment in the Spectator: "Is this why the Palestinians 'deserve' a state, Mr Biden?"
See also this confronting and moving 17 March piece in the LA Times by Ron Kehrmann, Yossi Mendelevich and Yossi Zur (all victims of Palestinian terror), who simply ask, "Why glorify the murderers?"
After adding that Dalal al-Mughrabi's name already adorns a girl's school in Hebron, Kehrmann, Mendelevich and Zur ask: "What message is the Palestinian Authority trying to send to the Palestinian people, especially to the children growing up under its rule? [. . .] How can terrorists use children as human shields in fire exchanges? Where are the parents, teachers, community leaders? How does a society have a suicide-murderer waiting list of 500 young Palestinians wanting to kill themselves along with Israelis, as was the case during the worst days of the second intifada, when a terror attack occurred almost daily?"
And their answer: "The answers lie in years of brainwashing, which starts at a very young age, through education and religious television channels, mosque prayers and lessons that make people believe that death is better than life; that killing innocent people, without distinction, will improve Palestinian life.
"The answers are rooted in years of glorifying the murderers, putting their posters on streets, giving their families money and respect, and yes, in naming city squares after them.
"These children are taught to hate Israelis and Jews and to disrespect their own lives."
Now Hezballah scoops the pool
DEBKA reports (17 March) that Iran's Lebanese proxy, the Hizballah militia, has set up a Palestinian operations unit for 2,000 new recruits from the Lebanese Fatah. Fatah commander Col. Munir Maqdah, led the mass defection. "The first major Palestinian defection to the Shiite Hizballah has given Iran and its proxy a large foot inside Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization and swelled Hizballah's fighting strength by some 15 percent."
DEBKA notes: Col. Munir Maqdah not only acted as liaison between Fatah and al Qaeda's affiliates in Lebanon, such as Fatah al-Islam, he also maintained close ties with Palestinian terrorist sleeper cells in the West Bank towns of Nablus and Jenin. His networks and contacts are now available to Tehran.
See: More than 2,000 Fatah defect to Hizballah, Iran's first big Palestinian gain
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 17, 2010.
UPDATE: I have been advised by a long-time and respected analyst of Middle East affairs, that DEBKA is not a totally reliable source.
However, on 18 March, Lebanon's Daily Star reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's attempt in January to restructure Fatah in Lebanon sparked considerable aggitation.
"Residents of the southern Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh near Sidon have been expressing pessimism and frustration over the matter and have voiced doubts about the faction’s unity and goals."
Abbas controversially dismissed Fatah leader Col. Munir Maqdah, "the head of the Palestinian Armed Struggle in Lebanon", and this appears to have caused a deep rift between Abbas and Maqdah. Tensions have been escalating ever since.
According to The National (Arab Emirates) (24 Feb), the new Fatah commander's mandate to rid the camps of extremists reportedly provoked "a cycle of murder, revenge and intrigue that threatens security not only in the camp itself, but in the nearby city of Sidon, according to numerous officials, residents and observers of life in Lebanon’s most crowded and dangerous square kilometre."
The National describes "a confrontation and a meeting of influential camp officials, led by Abu Ahmed of Hamas and Munir al Maqdah, a rogue Fatah commander with close ties to the Islamist groups who maintains a powerful militia in the camp."
On Sunday 21 March, Maqdah told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that he had not defected to Hezballah and that such a story is aimed purely at "inciting the international community against Hezballah and the Palestinian camps and creating more division within the Fatah movement."
This is certainly a situation to be watching.