On October 31, Muhammad 'Abd Al-Khaleq Turkman, a 25-year-old Palestinian Authority policeman, carried out a shooting attack at a checkpoint in Beit El, wounding three Israeli soldiers, one of them seriously.
Turkman's brother Rabi'a, who was killed in 2011, was an officer in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and the Popular Resistance Committees, and was active in confrontations with Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, 2000-2006, often known as the Second Intifada or the Oslo War.
Following the recent shooting, Palestinian social media users posted images and banners praising Turkman and his attack. Such posts also appeared on the Facebook pages of Fatah offices in the Palestinian Authority, and even on Fatah's official Facebook page, which referred to Turkman as "the hero martyr."
Facebook pages associated with Hamas featured calls for Palestinian Authority security forces personnel to carry out similar attacks as part of what the PA terms the Al-Quds Intifada that began in October 2015. Social networks also saw use of the hashtags "The Resisting Policeman" and "The Martyr Policeman."
Images on Fatah's official Facebook page posted following the attack includes a poster showing Muhammad Turkman against the backdrop of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The poster, shared by the Facebook pages of Fatah offices in Tulkarm, Bethlehem, the town of 'Illar, and central Khan Yunis, states: "Martyr policeman Muhammad Turkman, an officer with Palestinian police special forces, perpetrator of the shooting operation near the Beit El checkpoint that wounded three Israeli soldiers."
The Facebook pages shared the poster using various hashtags such as "Member of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah," "Member of Palestinian Authority Apparatus," and "Honorable President Mahmoud Abbas's Man."
Additionally, the official Fatah Facebook page posted an image of Turkman with a rifle by his side. The post read: "Young martyr Muhammad 'Abd Al-Khaleq Turkman from the town of Qabatiya, perpetrator of the shooting operation that wounded three soldiers at the Beit El checkpoint in Ramallah. The martyr is a military man working for Palestinian police security [forces]."
The picture was reposted an hour later with text stating "The Fatah movement in Qabatiya is using loudspeakers to eulogize its son, hero martyr Muhammad Turkman, who carried out the 'Beit El' operation tonight."
The Facebook page of the Palestinian news agency Shihab, which is affiliated with Hamas, posted a Hamas graphic welcoming Muhammad 'Abd Al-Khaleq Turkman's operation and calling on more Palestinian security apparatus elements to get involved in the Intifada. It stated: "The Hamas movement welcomes the operation by the martyr Muhammad Turkman, an officer in the police apparatus, and views it as a powerful message in dealing with the crimes of the occupation. The movement calls on more members of the Palestinian security [apparatuses] to join the Palestinian Intifada. #The Resisting Policeman."
Hamas graphic posted on Shihab Facebook page
The Facebook page of one of Hamas's websites, PALDF, posted a graphic with Turkman's photo along with photos of Palestinian security apparatus members who had carried out previous attacks against Israel during the Al-Quds Intifada. They included Mazan Hasan Ariva, a PA intelligence officer who opened fire on Israeli soldiers at the Hizma checkpoint on December 3, 2015 and Amjad Al-Sukari, a security forces member, who did likewise at the Beit El checkpoint on January 31, 2016. Next to Turkman's photo was a graphic with a question mark captioned "Who will be next?"
Posters praising Turkman were also shared by the local Facebook pages of Palestinian Authority towns, as well as Palestinian Authority news pages. One poster shared by the "Palestine News At Any Moment" Facebook page, which posts Hamas-related content, praised Turkman's attack and stated that his reward for it would be a ticket to Paradise. The poster reads: "We, men of the [West] Bank, came to die as martyrs. This shooting is for you, mother, and with it I will pass through the gates of Paradise. Here they are, here they are, here they are – peerless heroes."
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