Ten years after his death, top Gaza terrorist and Hamas founder Ahmad Yassin is remembered fondly in the Palestinian Authority. Last Friday, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash eulogized the arch-terrorist, sating that he was an "exalted national Palestinian figure," an "icon," and that Palestinian children are taught about his "legacy, Jihad, actions, and morality.”
In a video broadcast on PA TV that was recorded, translated and publicized by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Al-Habbash is seen haranguing a large crowd with praises of Yassin, and curses against Israel. Yassin, Al-Habbash said, “was a leader over whom there was no dispute among the Palestinian nation... No one dared come out against us and accuse Arafat of treason. Can Arafat be accused of treason? Can Ahmed Yassin be accused of treason? Can they be accused of treason? They are exalted national Palestinian figures. They are icons about whom people teach their children about their legacy, their Jihad, their actions and their morality."
Besides establishing Hamas, with its legion of suicide bombers, Yassin was personally responsible for planning numerous terror attacks against Israel. He also inaugurated the campaign of rocket attacks against Israel, which has seen tens of thousands of missiles fired at Israel over the past decade. Israel eliminated Yassin in 2004.
Observers said that the praise of Yassin on official PA television – which is controlled by Fatah – was notable, considering the rivalry between the two terror groups. Fatah has been seeking ways to reconcile with Hamas after the Gaza terror group essentially established its own Palestinian Authority in 2006.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority are currently conducting peace talks, under the guidance of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Israel has demanded that the PA stop its incitement against Israel and halt its glorification of terrorism, but the PA has failed to do so.