A UN-funded Palestinian charity planted more than 200 olive trees in the West Bank over the weekend, each to honor a terrorist who killed or attacked Israeli citizens in the ongoing “knife intifada.”
The Union of Agricultural Work Committees planted the trees to honor men and women who have died while committing numerous stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks that have killed 34 and wounded more than 400 Israelis since they began in September. The event marked the 40th anniversary of “Land Day,” a Palestinian holiday marking protests of Israel’s decision to take land in Galilee for settlements.
“Through this event, we want to convey the message that we will hold on to the land, and that we will not forget the martyrs who sacrificed [their lives],” said a spokesman for the committee, Aghsan Barghouti, according to a translation provided by Palestinian Media Watch.
“Their funding of the UAWC implicates all these institutions and organizations in the act of honoring murderers of Israelis.”
Honorees of the event, held near the Israeli settlement of Psagot, north of Jerusalem, included:
- Muhannad Halabi, a 19-year-old Palestinian who killed 2 Israelis and injured a woman and her 2-year-old son in Jerusalem on Oct. 3, 2015. He was shot and killed by Israeli security forces.
- Fadi Alloun, a 19-year-old Palestinian who stabbed a 15-year-old boy on the same day before being shot by Israeli police.
The Palestinian government has honored terrorists in the past, and has named streets in the West Bank for the so-called martyrs of the current uprising. In addition, Palestinians have raised more than $60,000 to rebuild the home of Halabi's family, according to the Times of Israel. The home was demolished by Israel after the attack, as part of the Jewish State's deterrance police.
The UN sponsors the Palestinian group through its United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and United Nations Development Program. In addition, the committee receives funding from the governments of Australia, Spain, Netherlands and Japan.
Palestinian Media Watch, a nonprofit that exposes how the Palestinian government and media supports terrorism, charged that funding a group that pays tribute to terrorists is wrong.
“Their funding of the UAWC implicates all these institutions and organizations in the act of honoring murderers of Israelis,” PMW said in a statement.
Palestinian leaders say the uprising was sparked by frustration over nearly 50 years of Israeli rule over the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Israeli leaders say the Palestinian Authority is fueling violence with lies and by glorifying violence against innocent civilians.
A report in the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, said the men and women who have died committing acts of terrorism in Jerusalem during the uprising did so to stop Israel from taking more land for settlements.
"A number of families of martyrs of the popular uprising planted olive trees bearing the names of their sons and the dates of their martyrdom in lands in danger of expropriation next to the settlement of Psagot, which is located on lands of the city of El-Bireh,” the report stated.
It quoted the mother of Eyad Sajadiyeh, 22, who was killed March 1 in a confrontation with Israeli soldiers who had entered a Palestinian refugee camp by mistake when their GPS app apparently malfunctioned. The soldiers were pelted with rocks and firebombs before returning fire as they fled. Sajadiyeh was shot in the head.
“My son loved the land and died as a martyr in order to protect it,” she said. “I see Eyad in this tree, and I will nurture it as I nurtured Eyad.”