At the same time that it is demanding a fourth and final release of terrorists and a Jewish construction freeze as "gestures" to extend the peace talks, the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to escalate its praise of terror against Israel.
Israel transferred five bodies of terrorists to the PA on March 11, to which official PA TV held a media fest praising their murderous acts. Among the five were two suicide bombers who detonated themselves in 2001: Maher Hbeishah murdered 15 and wounded 40 on a Haifa bus, while Imad Zubeidi killed one and wounded over 40 others at a bus stop in Kfar Saba, near Tel Aviv.
In the eyes of the PA however, the terrorists apparently were "stars." A PA TV reporter, covering the burial of the bodies, remarked "the skies of Nablus adorn themselves with the stars who loved the soil of the homeland, in which they will lie forever having returned to it as martyrs." Palestinian Media Watch exposed the comments.
PA TV interviewed relatives of the two terrorists in the same report. The brother of Zubeidi, speaking at the funeral, said "for us, this is a wedding of martyrdom - not mourning, but a wedding of martyrdom."
Meanwhile Hbeishah's sister stressed her brother sought martyrdom "for a long time," noting "he would always pray: 'Allah, make us live happily and die as Martyrs.' Praise be to Allah, he achieved it. He sought it sincerely."
Making the "wedding of martyrdom" more joyous for the terrorists' relatives is announcement by PA official Rami Hamdallah on Sunday, in which he pledged another $74 million from the PA budget to the families of "martyr" terrorists.
Fatah praises "heroic knight" murderer
In a separate incident, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction praised another terrorist on its official Facebook page as a "heroic knight."
The terrorist, Muhammad Omar Khalil Za'oul, was a suicide bomber for Fatah's military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. In 2004 he detonated himself on a Jerusalem bus, murdering eight and wounded dozens of others.
On February 22, the anniversary of Za'oul's horrific attack, Fatah on Facebook noted the day as "the anniversary of the martyrdom death of the heroic knight...Za'oul, ...who shook the foundations of the occupied city of Jerusalem with a heroic operation of quality that has entered the chronicles of heroic operations. ...Rest in peace, hero."