While sports tournaments around the world are usually a chance for healthy competition and for talented sportsmen and women to exhibit their abilities, the Palestinian Authority recently sponsored a tournament with a somewhat different agenda.
The "Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Table Tennis Tournament” was sponsored and attended by Jibril Rajoub, a top member of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and the head of the PA Olympic Committee, and was held to honor mass-murdering terrorist Dalal Mughrabi.
The event was covered by the PA media, and picked up and translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
The tournament was geared toward female ping pong players, including children and teenagers.
Not only did Rajoub attend the event, but other officials explicitly noted that the event took place with PA approval, PMW said. Palestinian Table Tennis Association official Radwan Al-Sharif stated that “the Table Tennis Association acts in accordance with the Olympic Committee’s agenda.”
Sharif made a speech at the event’s closing ceremony in which he spoke in praise of “the glorious deeds of hero Martyr Dalal Mughrabi.”
Dalal Mughrabi led a terrorist cell that carried out the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history: the hijacking of a bus on Israel’s Coastal Highway in which 38 Israelis were murdered, among them 13 children. The infamous attack in 1978 is known in Israel as the Coastal Road Massacre.
Mughrabi has been honored by the PA and Fatah on several occasions. A children’s camp and boy scout group were both recently named for her, and videos praising her as a hero have aired on official PA television.
Ironically, the latest event in Mughrabi’s honor took place on the same day that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told the United Nations that the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization, which runs the PA) has “repudiated violence and affirmed an ethical, principled rejection of terrorism in all its forms” since the 1980s.
PA sports groups have sponsored several other tournaments in 2013 honoring the terrorists who carried out the Coastal Road Massacre, PMW notes. Among the events were a soccer tournament for Arab teenagers in Jerusalem, a martial arts tournament and bicycle race, also for Jerusalem Arab youth, and a boxing competition in Jericho, all dedicated to the man who masterminded the massacre, Fatah co-founder Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir).
Israel has repeatedly complained over PA incitement to violence and terrorism, which is a violation of the Oslo Accords.