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Arafat tells young children to be Shahids ["Martyrs"] (PMW-PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH) 08/21/02)Source: http://www.pmw.org.il PMW} PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH PMW} PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
PMW has repeatedly documented that the Palestinian Authority [PA] has been pushing their children to see Shahada - Death for Allah - as something expected of them. In a televised gathering on Sunday, Yasser Arafat himself clearly encouraged young children to seek death, as he glorified a famous child Shahid [“Martyr"].

In addition, he addressed the cheering and chanting auditorium full of children as “colleagues, friends, brothers and sisters of Faris Ouda” - a 14 year old child who died in the conflict, who has been turned into a heroic symbol by the PA. One of those children, he said, would raise the Palestinian flag over Jerusalem. The children responded to him by combining the Jerusalem and Shahid messages, by chanting: “Millions of Shahid’s marching to Jerusalem!”

The following is the main text of the exchange:

Arafat to children:
“Oh, children of Palestine! The colleagues, friends, brothers and sisters of Faris Ouda [14 year old who died in the conflict]. The colleagues of this hero represent this immense and fundamental power that is within, and it shall be victorious, with Allah´s will! One of you, a boy or a girl, shall raise the [Palestinian] flag over the walls of Jerusalem, its mosques and its churches... "Onward together to Jerusalem!"

Children respond, cheering and chanting:
"Millions of Shahids marching to Jerusalem!"
[PATV August 18, 2002]

This is not the first time Arafat has expressed support for child Shahids. He has previously made clear the importance he attaches to having dead Palestinian children to show the world, saying the "greatest message to the world" was child Shahids ["Martyrs"]. The following is from an interview on PA TV in January, 2002:

"Mr. President, what message would you like to send to the Palestinian people in general and, particularly, to the Palestinian children?"

Arafat: "...The child who is grasping the stone, facing the tank; is it not the greatest message to the world when that hero becomes a Shahid [dies for Allah]? We are proud of them."

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