Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports the PA has named a plaza in the Samarian Palestinian Authority town of Tulkarem after Israeli Arab terrorist prisoner Maher Younes who, together with his cousin, Karim Younes, kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980. Both murderers were sentenced to life imprisonment, which was commuted by former Israeli president Shimon Peres to 40 years.
"The Maher Younes Plaza" was inaugurated in Tulkarem in April at a ceremony that included scouts marching, music playing, and speeches by two PA officials: Tulkarem District Governor Issam Abu Bakr and Tulkarem Mayor Muhammad Yaqub. Terrorist Younes' mother cut the inaugural ribbon to the plaza, and the terrorist's sister gave a speech. The PA officials emphasized that Younes is "a great man" and "a hero".
Abu Bakr said: "We are proud of this great man, this fighter, this leader, Maher Younes, and raise our heads because of this man. This man, the cousin of Karim Younes (i.e., his accomplice in the murder) - they have spent over 35 years [in prison] for the Palestinian people, for the Palestinian people's freedom. We are proud of them."
Yaqub said: "The city of Tulkarem is honored to name this plaza after heroic prisoner fighter Maher Younes. The prisoner honors the city of Tulkarem, and not the opposite. The presence of a plaza named after him is a great honor for us. I say to the prisoner's mother, and to his sister, that their tears are pearls on the crown of the future Palestinian state, Allah willing. We'll continue to be committed, and we'll remain loyal to our heroic prisoners who are the leaders of the future and honor guards of the entire Arab nation" (Al-Salam, Palestinian internet TV channel, April 17, 2018).
It is the family of terrorist prisoner Maher Younes that has funded the renovation and paving of the plaza, which the Tulkarem District Governor has authorized be used for the project:
"The Tulkarem Municipality contributed a plaza that is located on one of the sidewalks near the refugee camp of Tulkarem on Nablus Street in the east of the city, at the decision and order of Tulkarem District Governor Issam Abu Bakr, and prisoner Younes' family is funding its renovation and paving" (Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 18, 2018).
During his years in prison, Maher Younes has received a salary from the PA. Since his arrest in January 1983 and until today, May 2018 included, the PA has rewarded Younes with an estimated 1,443,700 shekels ($416,363). Possibly some of this money has been spent by his family on the new plaza named after him. The PA has paid the Younes cousins a combined total of at least 2,887,400 shekels ($832,726).
PMW has previously reported on the establishment of a Maher Younes Square in Tulkarem. The new plaza is located in the center of the city and may have replaced the previous square.
Palestinian Media Watch has documented the PA's practice of honoring terrorists and murderers by naming structures and events after them. PMW's report From Terrorists to Role Models details 100 examples of schools, streets, buildings, sporting events, summer camps, and ceremonies named after terrorists.
Other squares the PA has named after terrorists include the "Martyr Khaled Nazzal Square," named after the mastermind of the Ma'alot Massacre in which 22 children and 4 adults were murdered. PMW's exposure of that square led to protests and pressure by Israel. The Jenin mayor was forced to remove the square, but then later restored it due to Palestinian pressure. After the monument was restored the Israeli army tore it down again while Fatah vowed to rebuild it, and a solidarity monument was erected in Ramallah.
According to PA law, the longer a terrorist is in prison the higher his military rank. The following chart, from the PA Regulation, Decision No. 15 of 2013, Issue 103 of the Records, published Dec. 8, 2013, shows the ranks given by the PA to terrorist prisoners:
Military rank according to number of years in prison:
5-6 years - Lieutenant
6-8 years - Captain
8-10 years - Major
10-15 years - Lieutenant Colonel
15-20 years - Colonel
20-25 years - Brigadier General
25-30 years - Major General
30 years and above - Major General (senior) (WAFA, the official PA news agency on Dec. 12, 2013)