The mother of a Palestinian who murdered two Israelis in the Old City of Jerusalem last October was photographed flashing a victory sign when revisiting the site of the deadly attack, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.
Suhair Halabi has been outspoken in her support of her son Muhannad, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad who murdered Rabbi Aharon Banita and seriously injured his wife Adele their two-year-old son as the family was going to pray at the Western Wall. Muhannad Halabi also killed Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi, an Old City resident who ran out with a handgun to assist the family once he heard the commotion.
Adele Banita said that nearby Palestinians watched the attack without interfering, with one youth slapping her while she was on the ground and another telling her to “drop dead” when she asked him to help her escape with her wounded son and infant daughter.
Halabi was shot dead by security forces on the scene, prompting the Palestinian Authority to condemn Israel for its “policy of escalation” and call for international intervention. The PA’s statement failed to mention that Halabi murdered two people, let alone condemnation of his attack.
“I will always be proud that my son sacrificed his life for the liberation of his homeland,” said Suhair Halabi after Muhannad carried out the killings. The Surda-Abu Qash municipality in the northern West Bank decided to rename a street after Muhannad on October 13, less than 10 days after the attack. The mayor of the municipality, where a memorial to the terrorist was erected, called him “a pride and badge of honor for the whole village.”
Halabi was also praised by the PA Bar Association, which awarded him a law degree posthumously, as well as by Sultan Abu Al-Einein, an advisor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who wrote in a Facebook post, “We loved you, Muhannad. We loved you, while you sowed life for all Palestinians.” At a rally held in honor of the terrorist, Jamal Muhaisen, an official in the PA’s ruling Fatah party, declared that Palestinian men have a right “to cause Israeli women to cry.” Abbas and other leading Palestinian officials have been accused of inciting violence against Israelis.
Palestinian activists have raised more than $63,000 to rebuild the Halabis’ house after it was demolished by Israel. House demolitions are intended to serve as an economic deterrent to carrying out terrorist attacks, which the PA rewards with salaries.
A poll conducted over the first three months of 2016 found that over 60 percent of Palestinians approve of “armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel.”