Under its banner, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” The Washington Post (WAPO) published a story headlined “Tomorrow’s Martyrs’: Inside a Palestinian militant cell in the West Bank.”
The report opens by following a man named Zoufi, who is affectionately dubbed “abuna” (father). Describing Nablus (Biblical Shechem), a tightly packed community of more than 30,000 impoverished Palestinians and no proper police force, it follows Zoufi as he patrols the city with an M16.
“Everyone here is calling me ‘father’ now,” Zoufi told WAPO. “I am forced to be the policeman, the father, the guard.”
WAPO mentions in passing that Zoufi, a benevolent father figure and neighborhood cop, is also the commander of the camp’s branch of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, forced to take part in terrorism in response to Israel’s raids.
The report fails to mention that in addition to murdering Jews, the armed terrorist organizations also extort money from the local residents and run a thriving black market selling weapons and drugs.
The report cites the fact that more than 150 Palestinians have been killed since January, while at least 22 Israelis have died in shootings, stabbings, car rammings, and other terror attacks by Palestinians. What the report does not mention, however, is that the Palestinians were almost exclusively young men killed in hostilities with the IDF while Israel struggled to prevent terrorist attacks. The 22 Israelis killed by the Palestinians were innocent civilians, non-combatants, men, women, and children murdered because they were Jews.
The WAPO article claims that Israel “depends on the Palestinian Authority to keep order in the occupied West Bank” when, in fact, the PA takes credit for some of the terrorist attacks and underwrites the murder of Jews through its Martyrs’ Fund monthly stipends with payments increasing with the number of Jews killed.
The article is rife with anecdotal reports of Palestinians resorting to terrorism after the IDF killed a friend or relative. The article downplays the violence that preceded the IDF actions. WAPO compares these homegrown terrorists to local heroes in lieu of sports figures.
“The fighters, who inspire both fear and fealty, enjoy cultlike status in the camp,” WAPO wrote. “There are no sports teams here. Male unemployment is nearing 90 percent. With few role models of any kind, boys collect stickers, posters, and necklaces bearing images of slain militants.”
Instead of sports or music videos, the Palestinians watch TikTok videos showing the funerals of “militants,” the term used to describe the terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands or, alternatively, “gunmen” or simply “fighters.”
After describing a cache of homemade bombs, WAPO quotes a chilling statement made by one of the “fighters.”
“There are no innocent Israelis,” said a Jenin-based militant. “They kill our women and children. We will do the same.”
It should be emphasized that Israel does not target women or children, though a recent report revealed that the Palestinian terrorist organizations actively recruit teen girls and boys for terrorism.
The WAPO report makes it clear that the “fighters” have no hope of defeating Israel.
“We are tomorrow’s martyrs,” one terrorist was quoted as a dramatic ending to the report.
WAPO was slammed by several organizations for its report. Bassam Tawil wrote a scathing response to the “romanticized” WAPO report for the Gatestone Institute.
“The ‘fighters’ The Washington Post is referring to are the terrorists responsible for a series of shooting, stabbing, and car-ramming attacks against Jewish civilians and soldiers in the Nablus area and Israel over the past few months,” Tawil wrote. “Notably, these terrorists do not hide their involvement in the wave of attacks. In fact, they often boast of the attacks and post videos and posters documenting their role.”
He notes that Zoufi purchased his M16 for $20,000 he earned working in construction in Tel Aviv as one of the “tens of thousands of Palestinians who were granted permits (by Israel) to come and work in Israel as part of an effort to boost the Palestinian economy and improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the West Bank.”
Zoufi did not choose employment in the areas controlled by the PA, where wages are much lower. Nor did he choose to use his Israel-earned shekels to build a new house or improve his living conditions. He chose, instead, to join a terrorist organization.
The reporters from WAPO were impressed when one of the Palestinians paid 20 shekels ($6) to buy them coffee. They noted that his arm was in a sling due to his being shot by the IDF noting that his two friends were killed by the IDF in the incident. What the WAPO report did not mention is that the three heavily armed Palestinians, one of them a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces, encountered the IDF while trying to slip into the Jewish community of Elon Moreh with the intention of murdering Jews.
Tawil quoted Sean Durns, senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
“[A] recent report by the Post provided what was essentially free advertising for a U.S.-designated terrorist group,” Durns wrote. “ Worse still, the Post’s foray is part of an ongoing trend in Western news outlets being used by terrorist organizations to promote their propaganda.”
“The Post piece leaves one with the distinct impression that there is such a thing as a good terrorist,” Tawil concluded. “One who targets Jews.”
It is disturbing to note that two weeks after the WAPO report, the “fighters” described (or their friends) murdered Batsheva Nigri, a 42-year-old Jewish mother of three who taught preschool and, one day later,
PA President Mahmoud Abbas tweeted a statement that the Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of his government, was responsible for the attacks and will continue to “adhere to the option of the rifle as a strategic choice.”
Members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades were later filmed handing out sweets to passersby in the Gaza Strip to celebrate the murder of the Jewish woman. One day later, Shay Silas Nigreka and his son, Aviad Nir, were murdered by Palestinians in Hawara.