Erdan asks Mandelblit to order probe of Rajoub for incitement

Rajoub spent 15 years in an Israeli prison for throwing a grenade at an army bus in 1970. He holds several positions in the PA and in Fatah, its ruling party.

June 21, 2018 03:38
3 minute read.
A poster of Palestinian FA chief Jibril Rajoub with Argentina's soccer player Lionel Messi is seen d

A poster of Palestinian FA chief Jibril Rajoub with Argentina's soccer player Lionel Messi is seen during Rajoub's news conference, in Ramallah in the West Bank June 6, 2018.. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)


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Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan asked Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to order the police to launch an investigation against top PA official Jibril Rajoub for incitement to violence and terrorism against Israelis, Palestinian Media Watch announced Wednesday.

In a letter sent to Mandelblit on Tuesday night, Erdan backed Palestinian Media Watch in its demand to open an investigation and prohibit Rajoub’s entry into Israel.

On March 11, Palestinian Media Watch submitted a complaint to the Israel Police against Rajoub, but the NGO says the police has so far done nothing.

The group specifically complained about statements made by Rajoub during the 2015-2016 Palestinian terrorism wave. The seven-page complaint was also signed by three family members of victims of Palestinian terrorism.

“Notwithstanding his senior position, PMW supplied evidence of Rajoub’s clear incitement to murder, which cannot be ignored,” Erdan wrote in his letter. “PMW’s complaint to the police included evidence of explicit calls by Rajoub on PA TV to continue terrorist attacks against Israelis.”

The complaint and letter quote Rajoub as having said in 2016: “I say that whoever carried out individual acts of heroism, we in the Fatah movement bless and encourage them. We consider them heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian... beginning with our brother Muhammad Halab.” The latter stabbed two Israeli men to death and wounded a mother and her toddler in Jerusalem in 2015.

In an interview on the Palestinian Authority’s official television station, on October 17, 2015, Rajoub encouraged Palestinians to focus their violence on “settlers and soldiers,” as quoted by Palestinian Media Watch and cited by Erdan, among many other examples of this kind provided by the group.

Erdan also accused Rajoub of “implementing his murderous ideology” via his official positions – for instance, giving certificates of honor in 2013 to Ziyad and Mustafa Ghneimat, who murdered two Israelis in 1985.

After listing several other examples, Erdan said: “In light of all of the above, which proves that Rajoub explicitly and consistently incites to terrorism and violence in a manner that can harm and lead to acts of murder and violence, I ask you to order the launch of a police investigation against him.”

“Likewise, from the police reports it was made known to me that from time to time Rajoub receives entry permits to east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. It seems unreasonable to me that the State of Israel would act to grant permits to someone who incites to violence and terrorism, and who acts in every way to harm it and its citizens,” he added. “Therefore, I ask that instructions be given to withhold from Rajoub, from now on, any entry permit to territory of the State of Israel.”

“We are very pleased that minister Erdan has accepted the validity of PMWs complaint to the police against Jibril Rajoub,” said Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch.

“The only way to defeat terrorism is to act against the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, who have stood behind the repeated terrorist campaigns in recent years. Israel’s willingness until now to give immunity to the leaders who drove the terrorist campaigns and to prosecute only the terrorists in the field paved the way for subsequent terrorist campaigns. Only when the PA leaders like Rajoub understand that they will be prosecuted for incitement to murder and will pay the price just like the terrorists who pull the trigger, will Israel have created a deterrence that will prevent the next terrorist wave.”

Rajoub spent 15 years in an Israeli prison for throwing a grenade at an army bus in 1970. He holds several positions in the PA and in Fatah, its ruling party, including secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee and chairman of the High Commission for Youth and Sport.

He chairs the Palestinians’ Olympic committee and soccer association, positions he has used to try to encourage boycotts on Israel, including bringing about the recent cancellation of the friendly match between the Argentinean and Israeli national football teams.

Rajoub did not respond to The Jerusalem Post’s request for comment.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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