(TPS) Palestinian teenagers Mahmoud Aliyat and Mohammed Zalbani carried out terrorist attacks in recent days, and they were only 13 years old.
Aliyat stabbed two Israelis outside the Dung Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City on Jan. 28.
A second teenager, whose name has not been released, is in custody for stabbing an Israeli in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday. He was caught trying to hide on the Temple Mount.
Zalbani stabbed a Border Policeman doing a routine security check on a bus in Jerusalem, also on Monday. The officer was killed by friendly fire, and Zalbani was detained unhurt.
These three boys are not the only boys from a generation of Palestinians who do not know what the Oslo accords are, who did not experience the damage of the First and Second Intifadas. They get their inspiration from Palestinian media incitement, their schools, and social media.
The young generation of eastern Jerusalem is subject to constant incitement accessible in every corner. Morning through night, teens are bombarded with messages about the “break-in of the Jews” into Al Aqsa, about the “danger to the holy mosques,” about the “abuse of prisoners,” and about “executions” and “cold-blooded assassinations” taking place in Jenin and Shechem (Nablus). Antisemitic cartoons reinforce the messages.
This steady stream of messages comes from the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and local clergy.
The teens are called upon to protect Al-Aqsa with their bodies, hunt down extremist Jews trespassing Islamic holy sites and confront police who are described as “bloodthirsty soldiers.”
Children see themselves as counterparts to the Lion’s Den terror group in Jenin and Shechem (Nablus).
Social media poisons the minds of Palestinian teens. The prevalence of cell phones in eastern Jerusalem is higher than in Tel Aviv. Expensive phones are status symbols. According to various estimates, the use of social networks in Arab countries is nearly double that of the West, and eastern Jerusalem is no exception. Parents repeatedly tell their children to close their TikTok and Telegram apps.
These social networks expose teens to images of mutilated corpses, axes dripping with blood, and the Jewish stars on which Palestinians corpses hang.
It’s not that the would-be killers are only flooded with terrorist porn — teens receive social approval and legitimization as well.
One public figure in eastern Jerusalem told the Tazpit Press Service after a car-ramming terror attack on Friday, “You should return us to the Stone Age and close the social networks.”
The schools of eastern Jerusalem are a central pillar in a well-oiled industry of Palestinian incitement.
Of the nearly 200 schools in eastern Jerusalem, about 80% follow the Palestinian Authority’s curriculum. Only a small part of these schools are supervised by the Israeli education system.
Fadi Abu Shahidim, the Hamas terrorist who murdered Eli Kay in the Old City in 2022, was himself a teacher in a school overseen by the municipality.
Other schools teach extremist Islamic curriculum. The Al Furkan network, for example, is managed by one of the top Hamas figures in Judea and Samaria. This educational network glorifies “struggle” and “resistance” and praises terrorists as “heroes.” In response to a question that asks the students about their duties to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the curriculum stresses that the answer is, “To carry out Jihad and die with the hand raised for its liberation.”
Educational material for the 9th grade according to which the Jews are cunning, treacherous and hostile – as part of an exercise that seeks to name the characteristics of Jews.
Students are taught that Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist involved in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre — in which 38 Israeli civilians were killed, many of whom were children — was a “heroine.” The 1972 Olympic massacre in Munich is treated as a defining national event.
Maps and geography books stress that Israel does not exist, history lessons deny the Holocaust or use it to describe the Naqba.
This year, the entire Palestinian education system is held under the slogan “Fighting for sovereignty in education in East Jerusalem.” At one private school, an outstanding principal was fired after it was discovered he was a Druze who previously served in the Israeli Defense Forces.
In September a boy’s school held a play in which children enacted the murder of Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir. A video uploaded to TikTok went viral.
The schools of eastern Jerusalem are part of the production line for terrorism.
Palestinian media, social media and schools are combining to have a toxic effect. Stabbing an Israeli makes teens a hero in the neighborhood and online. Posters and videos with symbols of Fatah, Hamas, Lion’s Den can be distributed in minutes. Terror stipends can become available. Some of the terrorist teens left behind wills asking their parents not to cry because they protected Al-Aqsa when the Palestinian Authority failed.
That is how a Palestinian star is born in eastern Jerusalem.
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