The Facebook page for Fatah in Lebanon has posted this picture of a mother dressing her young son with a suicide belt. Palestinian Media Watch has documented the ongoing glorification of violence and Martyrdom by the PA. This picture was posted on the Fatah Facebook page together with an imaginary conversation between the son who is being sent to his death and the mother encouraging it. "Why me and not you?" the child innocently asks his mother, who answers that she will continue to have more children "for the sake of Palestine":
"My mother dressed me in a strange belt (i.e., a suicide belt). I asked her: ‘What is this, mother?' She said: ‘I will put it on you and you will go to your death!' I said to her: ‘Mother, what have I done that you want me to die?' She shed a tear that hurt my heart and said: ‘The homeland needs you, son. Go and blow up the sons of Zion.' I said to her: ‘Why me and not you?' She said: ‘I will stay in order to give birth to more children for the sake of Palestine.' I kissed her hand and said to her: ‘Keep it up, mother, for you and for Palestine I will kill the impure and the damned.'" [Fatah-Lebanon's Facebook page, posted Sept. 3, 2012, accessed Oct. 28, 2012]
The Facebook page states that it is "the official page of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission in Lebanon," and is linked to from the official website of the Fatah Information and Culture Commission (www.fatehmedia.ps).
The PA-funded educational magazine for children, Zayzafuna, published an essay earlier this year written by an 11 year-old lauding death as a Martyr:
"How do you know that you're a Palestinian?" by Asil Khaled, 5th grade student – El-Bireh
"If you know that you were born with a death sentence, and if you go to your death without caring – then you're a Palestinian! If your song is the song of Martyrdom (Shahada), and death, for you, is birth – then you're a Palestinian! If you love death, and you say the Shahada [declaration] (i.e., the Islamic creed: "There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is Allah's messenger.") aloud – then you're a Palestinian! If you've ever felt that you're an exploding body and that your soul will long one day to be a knight for the homeland – then you're a Palestinian! If the stone is your weapon against oppression, and if those who hate [you] criticize your struggle – then you're a Palestinian! If you have saturated the tree of the homeland with your free blood, with love, and have offered the remnants of your bodily parts as a bridge for those who are yet to come – then you're a Palestinian! If you have shattered the chains, and carried the key to the house from which [your] grandparents were expelled – then you're a Palestinian! If your wedding (i.e., a Martyr's funeral in Islamic tradition is a wedding to 72 Maidens of Paradise) was amidst a hail of bullets between the shoulders of friends [who carried your body], against the sound of tears mingled with joy (i.e., of achieving Martyrdom) and the searing pain of separation- then you're a Palestinian, and you're full of pride at being a Palestinian." [Zayzafuna, Jan. 2012]
During the years of the Palestinian Authority terror campaign (the Intifada, 2000 – 2005), Palestinian Media Watch documented that the PA actively promoted Martyrdom (Shahada) as an ideal that children should strive for. Music videos for children indoctrinating them to see Martyrdom as "sweet" were broadcast hundreds of times on PA TV. In recent years, Martyrdom for children continues to be glorified by the PA in contexts for children but with lesser frequency.
The following are two examples of encouraging children to seek death as Martyrs for Allah, and one example of two girls embracing this ideal:
This video, designed to offset a child's natural fear of death, portrays Martyrdom as both heroic and tranquil. The film's hero, a teenager, leaves a farewell letter describing the death he is seeking as pleasurable:
(Click on link below for video)
"Don't be sad my dear [father], and don't cry over my parting. My dear father, for my country, I sacrificed myself. With determination and desire, I will keep my promise. How sweet is Martyrdom (Shahada), when I am embraced by you, my land! How sweet is Martyrdom (Shahada), when I am embraced by you, my land! My beloved, my mother, most dear to me, be joyous over my blood, don't cry for me." [PA TV (Fatah), broadcast hundreds of times from 2001-2004]
Muhammad Al-Dura (a boy who was killed in a televised crossfire) calls other children to follow him to a joyous child-Martyr Paradise. Al-Dura runs on the beach with his kite, and even goes to an amusement park:
Text on screen: "I am waving to you, not in parting, but to say follow me. By Muhammad Al-Dura." Narrator: "How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs. How sweet is the fragrance of the earth, its thirst quenched by the gush of blood flowing from the youthful body. How sweet is the fragrance of the earth. The boy [Muhammad Al-Dura] cried: Oh father, till we meet, till we meet, father, till we meet, I will go with no fear and without crying. How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs. I will go, father, to my place in heaven. How sweet is the fragrance of the martyrs. Oh father, till we meet, till we meet, Oh father, till we meet."
Host: "You described Martydrdom (Shahada) as something beautiful. Do you think it is beautiful?" Walla, age 11: "Martyrdom (Shahada) is a very, very beautiful thing. Everyone yearns for Shahada. What could be sweeter than going to paradise?" Host: "What is better, peace and full rights for the Palestinian people, or Shahada?" Walla: "Shahada. I will achieve my rights after becoming a Shahida (Martyr)." Host: "Ok, Yussra, would you agree with that?" Yussra, age 11: "Of course; Shahada is sweet. We don't want this world, we want the Afterlife. We benefit not from this life, but from the Afterlife." Host: "Do you actually love death? " Yussra: "Death is not Shahada." Host: "No, I mean the absence after death. " Yussra: "No child loves death. The children of Palestine adopted the concept that Shahada is very good. Every Palestinian child, say someone aged 12, says: Oh Lord, I would like to become a Shahid." Host: "We've got a call, Sabrine from Ramallah." Sabrine (on telephone): "Ayyat Al-Akhras was 17 when she blew herself up - Host: "Sabrine, are you for it or against it?" Sabrine (on telephone): "Of course I support blowing up, it is our right." Host: "Sabrine, now, is it natural that Ayyat Al-Akhras blows herself up?" Sabrine (on telephone): "Of course it's natural." [PA TV (Fatah), June 9, 2002]