Palestinian Terrorist Murderer Finishes MA in Israeli Prison

July 20, 2022

5 min read

The Palestinian Birzeit University launched its 2022 graduation ceremonies by granting an MA to Palestinian terrorist murderer Zakariya Zubeidi. Announcing the award, a university judging committee member said:

“[Zakariya Zubeidi] completed [his studies] with highest honor in implementation, and with highest honor in theoretical thinking. This is a success for Palestine, for the fighter’s rifle.

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, July 3, 2022]

The official PA daily used the event as on opportunity to attack Israel – which it referred to, as usual, as “the occupation” – calling the arrest of a terrorist murderer a “violation against education”:

“Yesterday, Friday [July 1, 2022], Birzeit University began its graduation ceremony celebrations of the 47th class of its students from the legal and public administration faculty and the faculty for higher education…

The occupation’s actions and violations against education in Palestine were present at the graduation ceremony, as the student daughter of prisoner Zakariya Zubeidi who is imprisoned in the occupation’s [prison] cells, received her father’s master’s degree diploma in modern Arab studies.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 2, 2022]

Zubeidi was the head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (Fatah’s military wing) in the Jenin area during the 2000 – 2005 PA terror campaign. During that period, he oversaw numerous lethal attacks. Despite his terror activities, in 2007, as part of a deal with the PA, Zubeidi was taken off Israel’s wanted list on condition that he refrain from further participation in terror. He was subsequently given a position in the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and made a Fatah Revolutionary Council member.

Despite having received a second chance in life, Zubeidi was arrested by Israel on Feb. 27, 2019, for again participating in shooting attacks against Israelis.

While he was working in his prison cell on finishing his MA, some of his fellow prisoners, in Israel’s Gilboa Prison, were busy digging a tunnel to escape from prison. On Sept. 6, 2021, together with 5 Islamic Jihad terrorist prisoners who shared a cell with him, Zubeidi escaped. He was rearrested on Sept. 11, 2021.

The PA-funded Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs also celebrated that Zubeidi received his degree with a special post on its Facebook page:

Posted text: “Loyalty in exchange for loyalty, freedom to prisoner commander Zakariya Zubeidi (i.e., Fatah terror leader responsible for numerous lethal attacks)”

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, July 2, 2022]

The video linked to the post shows the daughter of Zubeidi holding a poster of him aloft while receiving his MA diploma.

Zubeidi is not the only terrorist prisoner who received his degree. Another terrorist receiving an MA degree was Assaf Zahran. Zahran who is serving 5 life sentences for transporting 18-year-old suicide bomber Ahmed Abu Khalil to the entrance of the Hasharon Mall in Netanya where he murdered 5 Israelis – Rachel Ben Abu, Nofar Horowitz (both 16), Anya Lifshitz (50), Julia Voloshin (31), and Cpl. Moshe Maor Jan (21) – and wounded 88 others on July 12, 2005.

“Prisoner Assaf Zahran (i.e., terrorist, involved in murder of 5), 46, began his 18th consecutive year in the occupation’s prison since he was arrested in 2005. He was sentenced to 5 life sentences and 22.5 [additional] years…

During his years in captivity, he succeeded in completing his studies and received a master’s degree.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 14, 2022]

As Palestinian Media Watch has exposed, the PA-funded Commission of  Prisoners’ Affairs spends millions of dollars every year, ostensibly paying fees to the different universities that provide degrees to the terrorist prisoners.

A 2011 decision of the Israel government prohibited university studies for the terrorist prisoners. While the PA, the PA universities, and the terrorists themselves gloat about the studies of the terrorist prisoners, the Israel Prison Service claims that it fully upholds the decision of the government and that the prisoners are not really studying.

Studying for free is only one of numerous benefits terrorist prisoners receive from the PA. In addition, they also receive monthly salaries that rise with time spent in prison. Since Zubeidi had spent 5 years in prison for previous terror offences, upon his arrest, this time, the PA immediately started paying him a salary of 4,000 shekels ($1,286) per month. To date, the PA has paid Zubeudi a cumulative sum of no less than 160,000 ($51,440) shekels.

Zakariya Zubeidi – Palestinian terrorist and head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (Fatah’s military wing) in the Jenin area during the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005), when he oversaw numerous lethal attacks. Zubeidi was taken off Israel’s wanted list in 2007 on condition that he refrain from terror as part of a deal with the PA; he was subsequently given a position in the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs and made a Fatah Revolutionary Council member. Zubeidi was arrested by Israel on Feb. 27, 2019, for breaching the deal by committing several shooting attacks with an accomplice – East Jerusalem lawyer Tareq Barghut who worked in the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs – near Beit El north of Ramallah on Nov. 7, 2018 and Jan. 5, 2019, and north of Jerusalem in late 2018; Zubeidi used a car issued to him by the PA in the attacks. Israel has put Zubeidi on trial for all of his past terror activity. Zubeidi escaped from Israel’s Gilboa Prison on Sept. 6, 2021, together with 5 Islamic Jihad terrorist prisoners who shared a cell with him, by digging a tunnel out through the floor with a spoon.

The following are longer excerpts of some of the statements cited above:

Birzeit University judging committee member: “[Zakariya Zubeidi] completed [his studies] with highest honor in implementation, and with highest honor in theoretical thinking. This is a success for Palestine, for the fighter’s rifle. Peace is on you the day you were born and the day you fought, on the day you were pursued and the day you pursued, on the day you were imprisoned and the day you went out from the freedom tunnel in occupied Beit Shean (i.e., an Israeli city, refers to his temporary escape from Gilboa Prison), and the day you will be raised alive as a free man (this entire sentence is a paraphrase of Quran 19:33, which quotes Jesus; see note below -Ed.).”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, July 3, 2022]

Regarding the paraphrase of Quran 19:33, verses 30-34 there read as follows: “[Jesus] said, ‘Indeed, I am the servant of Allāh. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakāh as long as I remain alive  And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.’ That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute” (Sahih International translation). 

“Yesterday, Friday [July 1, 2022], Birzeit University began its graduation ceremony celebrations of the 47th class of its students from the legal and public administration faculty and the faculty for higher education…

The occupation’s actions and violations against education in Palestine were present at the graduation ceremony, as the student daughter of prisoner Zakariya Zubeidi (i.e., Fatah terror leader responsible for numerous lethal attacks), who is imprisoned in the occupation’s [prison] cells, received her father’s master’s degree diploma in modern Arab studies.” 

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 2, 2022]

Reprinted with author’s permission from Palestinian Media Watch

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