PMW Researcher Itamar Marcus explores what lead to the October 7 terror attack

On November 21, the Action and Protection League (APL) hosted a conference on the importance of combating antisemitism through education at the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, which started with two research presentations and was followed by panel discussions, including the presentation of Itamar Marcus from the Palestinian Media Watch.

Itamar Marcus is a researcher and the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, which studies Palestinian society by monitoring and analysing the Palestinian Authority through its media and schoolbooks.

In his presentation, Mr. Marcus drew attention to the fact that the majority of Palestinians support Hamas. Based on public opinion polls, 59.3% of Palestinians strongly support Hamas, and 15.7% somewhat support the terrorist organisation. Moreover, 94.3% feel a great sense of pride as a Palestinian to a great extent, while an additional 3.7% feel it to some extent.

Mr. Marcus explored how we got here, finding one of the reasons for the extensive support of Hamas to be the support from the Fatah Palestinian nationalist and social democratic political party.

Fatah Jenin branch member Abd Al-Rahman Abu Al-Rub referred to the Hamas terror massacre: „We say to our people and to the members of the Palestinian people: A morning of victory, and morning of joy, a morning of pride.”

Fatah also called for the expansion of terror: „The Fatah Movement called on the masses of our people to hold a general strike tomorrow, Sunday [October 8, 2023], and to escalate the confrontation in all arenas in order to defend our people and our right to freedom, a state, and independence.”

There is prevailing antisemitism not only in Fatah but also in the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian political commentator Kamal Zakarneh said, „They [Europe and America] succeeded in getting rid of the Jews, whom they themselves view as human waste, and they threw them out into Palestine. They created a place for them far away from them, far away from Europe. They don’t want reverse migration now, and their [the Jews’] return to Europe again. They, Europe and America, are prepared to provide all the aid they can… to strengthen the occupation and leave the Jews where they are.”

Moreover, since October 7, the PA Ministry of Religion’s instructions for Friday sermons have been that all mosques must teach that the extermination of Jews is an Islamic imperative.

The other reason behind the extensive Palestinian support for Hamas lies in years and years of PA hate education and terror support messages directed at children and adults. PA textbooks include phrases like „The entire land is ours, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River.”

The Fatah Waed Magazine for children aged 6-15 includes statements such as „Fatah set out as an armed revolutionary movement whose goal is liberating Palestine from the thieving Zionist entity and restoring the right to its Palestinian owners, who own the right, the homeland, and the land.”

Fatah summer camp trains Palestinian teen soldiers, and martyrdom is glorified from childhood. 14-year-old PFLP terrorist Amr Khaled Al-Khamour wrote a „last will” before attacking soldiers: „Praise Allah, Allah has realised my dream for me, which is (Martyrdom for Allah) [parentheses in source]… When I come to you as a Martyr, Allah willing, O my mother, make sounds of joy and do not cry… Do not be sad, O father; I wished for martyrdom and achieved it.”

The Palestinian Authority not only encourages child martyrdom but also has the same message for adults: terrorist murderers of civilians are heroes. Abbas said to released Israeli Arab murderers: „We are proud of you. You are [role] models of this nation, [role] models of this people. You are icons of the Palestinian people.”

Itamar Marcus points out that The PA is not the solution. The PA is the source of the problem.”

The conference was opened by Tamir Wertzberger, Director of International Relations of APL, who drew attention to the fact that the EU contributes a yearly 300 million euros to Palestinians, of which 200 hundred goes to the Palestinian Authority, which funds terrorists, including security prisoners in Israel, and families of terrorists. The European money indirectly funds terror, and the aim of the following professional panel of the conference was to provide evidence and to explore the events and causes that led to the October 7 terror attack against Israel.