Suicide terror for children glorified on Hamas children's web site

Posted in Israel / Palestine | 16-Mar-06 | Author: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Croo| Source: Palestinian Media Watch

[picture in: "A Palestinian Girl's Heroism]

Suicide terror for children is now being actively promoted on the Hamas children's web site The new material posted yesterday is a short fictional story for children, glorifying a young girl's suicide terror attack. It describes how she calmly progresses, step by step, planning and executing her death in a suicide terror attack. The girl heroically leads "Zionist soldiers" to their death, all the while knowing she will be killed along with them. In death she is said to be "smiling, lying on the grass, because she died as a Shahida (Martyr for Allah) for Palestine." The story is entitled "A Palestinian Girl's Heroism."

The illustration with the story on the web shows a young smiling girl with four candles. The image of a living, smiling child in a story about the death of a child appears to echo a familiar message in PA children's education, that those who die as Shahids (Martyrs for Allah) are not really dead. (Click here to see PA TV broadcasts of Shahada promotion for children.)

The Jerusalem Post reports today on Hamas's attempt to deny responsibility for this and other web sites administered from its Beirut office. The Jerusalem Post article is reprinted below, following the translation of the short story from the web site. It should be noted that after PMW publicized that the Hamas children's website was encouraging children to seek martyrdom, the Russian server (CORBINA TELECOM Network Operations) immediately closed down the website on March 9, 2006. However, the site reopened a couple of days later and is now being hosted by a Malaysian webhoster (Eastgate;Telekom Multimedia of Telekom Malaysia Berhad;Telekom Exchange II, Jalan Lingkaran Fauna).

The following is the new short story on the web site:

A Palestinian Girl's Heroism

"Suad, the bright Palestinian girl, remembered what the Zionist criminals did, when they killed her father and mother.

One day while Suad was walking, she heard a voice from the trees. She turned and saw three men planting land-mines on the road leading to the Zionist camp.

Suad kept on walking. After a while, she saw a car with some Zionists, and an idea popped into her mind. She walked to the officer who was in the car, and told him: "I'll lead you to Palestinian Fida'yon (literally: self sacrificing fighters) in return for food, because I am hungry".

The officer was afraid of the Fida'yon's reputation, and didn't believe what Suad told him. He then said to his soldiers: "Take her to the camp so we will clarify her story".

In the camp, the soldiers brought food to Suad, so she would lead them to the Fida'yon. She told them: "Before I taste any food, I must lead you to the Fida'yon".

The officer was very happy and told his soldiers: "Let's go fast".

On the way, Suad got ready to carry out her plan. She decided to cause the car to ride over the land-mines, so that all of the soldiers would die.

Suad sat next to the driver, to direct him, and she led him to the land-mines. Then the [car] blew-up and all of the soldiers were killed. As for Suad, well she became a Shahida (Martyr for Allah) on the grass, while smiling, because she died as a Shahida for Palestine".
[Al-Fateh - Hamas Website, March 15, 2006].

From The Jerusalem Post, March 16, 2006

Hamas denies running kids' suicide Web site

By Orly Halpern

Hamas has denied charges by two Israeli organizations that a cartoon-style Web site for kids that praises suicide bombings belongs to the militant Islamic movement.

The site encourages children to commit suicide in order to kill Israeli soldiers and civilians. On Wednesday the site had an item telling a short story about a young girl who knowingly leads Israeli soldiers to a bomb and dies with them. The story said that "Suhad became a shahida (martyr) lying on the grass and smiling because she was a shahida for Palestine."

Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli organization which monitors and translates Palestinian Arabic language media, said that the site, along with and are official Hamas sites.

"A man by the name of Nizar Hussein who sits in Lebanon runs those site and he runs the children's Hamas Web site from the same server," said Marcus.

According to Dr. Reuven Ehrlich, a former army general who now directs an organization called the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said Hussein works in the same office as leading Hamas official in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan.

"We know and assume that they are working together," said Ehrlich. "I checked it out with my Israelis sources and they confirmed this. I can't reveal who they are."

According to a Hamas official in Ramallah, Hamas has long been falsely accused of running the Web site.

"You should ask [the Israelis] where they have this information from," Farhat Abu-Assad, a Hamas official in Ramallah, told The Jerusalem Post.

Abu-Assad said that many Islamic sites sympathize with Hamas "but that does not make them Hamas Web sites. The [people who run these sites] are private individuals that might sympathize with Hamas, but Hamas does not recognize these Web sites."

Marcus said the proof is in the content. "The fact is that they use these sites to publicize their announcements," said Marcus. "That is their way of getting their messages out to the world."

But Abu-Assad said the announcements are available to all and appear in many Palestinian media agencies including the official Palestinian news agency WAFA and in Maan, an Internet news Web site.

Marcus added that has materials that could not be available to others. "There is no way in the world that they can get these films of suicide bombings on these Web sites."

The children's site, which is in Arabic, has a "Shahid of the Week" on its homepage.

PMW believes that the reason Hamas does not have a declared official Web site is because it might be closed down for political reasons. Indeed, in an interview with UPI on October 10, Osama Hamdan said that Hamas did not have its own Internet site and that political pressure caused down its former site to be shut down three years ago.

However PMW noted that some countries which host servers, such as Malaysia, would not close a Hamas Web site.

This promotion of Shahada death for children is not new in the PA. The Palestinian Authority through its televised videos and children's textbooks has taught children to see death through Shahada as "sweet", desirable, and something to aspire.

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