Society

Some Palestinians Say Two Kidnapping Suspects Killed By Israeli Forces Were 'Martyrs'

| by Jared Keever

The Palestinian Authority’s official news agency has reportedly referred to two men, killed by Israeli forces for their alleged involvement in the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, as “martyrs.”

Palestinian Media Watch, or PMW, reports that the news agency WAFA reported on the killing of the men last week and said they were “executed” by Israeli forces.

“Israeli occupation forces executed citizens Marwan Al-Qawasmi and Amer Abu Aisheh today, Tuesday, in the early hours of the morning in a military operation in central Hebron... Security sources told WAFA that the occupation forces were still holding on to the bodies of the two Martyrs (Shahids),” read the Sept. 23 story, according to PMW. 

The English translation of the story on the WAFA website does not use the words “martyr,” “shahid,” or “executed.”

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The murder of the three teens in June was credited with touching off the recent fighting between Palestinians and Israel in Gaza. 

The Washington Post reported last week that the two men killed in Hebron were believed by Israeli authorities to have perpetrated the June kidnapping. 

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Perter Lerner said Israeli forces tracked the two men to a Hebron home in the early morning hours of Sept. 23 and were ready for a gunfight. 

“We went in understanding that they intended to fight, and they came out with guns blazing,” Lerner said.

PMW reports news agencies and Palestinian officials other than WAFA have also called the men martyrs, “indicating they are receiving sublime rewards from Allah” for their actions in the kidnapping. 

The PMW story argues that line of reasoning directly contradicts previously reported quotes from Palestinian leaders that suggested Israel staged the teens’ kidnapping and murder as a pretext for attacking Gaza in July. 

The story also quotes Yahya Rabah, a Palestinian columnist, who suggested the Hebron killings last week were meant to cover up the alleged conspiracy.

“With the assassination of the young Marwan Al-Qawasmi and Amer Abu Aisheh, the kidnapping operation, which served as an excuse for the (Gaza) war entered a new stage of obscurity,” Rabah wrote according to PMW. “It is possible that, were they alive, they would tell us and the world that the operation of kidnapping and murder of the three settlers is unrelated to the official Israeli version. Therefore, the execution of the young men, Marwan and Amer, amounted to the murder of the truth.”

Sources: Palestinian Media Watch, WAFA, The Washington Post

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