Palestinian terrorists, attacks against Israel praised at Brussels rally

Protestors called for people to throw rocks, and celebrated the use of "bullets and rockets" against Israelis.

 Pro-Palestine supporter gestures during a protest in Brussels, Belgium May 15, 2021.  (photo credit:  REUTERS/JOHANNA GERON)
Pro-Palestine supporter gestures during a protest in Brussels, Belgium May 15, 2021.

Pro-Palestinian activists marched across Brussels shouting violent slogans, wearing terrorist organization headbands and carrying posters glorifying terrorist figures on Saturday as part of the "March for Return and Liberation for Palestine." Similar protests also took place in other locations worldwide.

"The march demanded the implementation of return for Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes and homeland since the Nakba, the total liberation of all of Palestine from the river to the sea, stood in firm support of the Palestinian people and their Resistance [sic], called for the freedom of the prisoners and the defeat of Zionism, imperialism and the forces collaborating with them," the NGO Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, one of the organizing groups said in a statement on Sunday.

Samidoun is alleged by the Israeli government to be a front for the the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), recognized as a terrorist organization.

In videos of the event, some participants shouted slogans calling on people to throw rocks or shouting for the use of "bullets and rockets." One prominently displayed banner depicted the launch of rockets. Such projectiles are often fired by Gazan terrorist organizations into Israel. 

Support for terrorism on full display

Terrorist paraphernalia was readily apparent in the footage. Some marchers wore headbands showing allegiance to Lions' Den, a terrorist group that has been responsible for several recent terrorist attacks and battles with IDF soldiers.

"Participants saluted the Palestinian resistance, including Mohammed Deif, leader of the Palestinian armed resistance in Gaza, and the resistance movements in Nablus, Jenin and throughout occupied Palestine, emphasizing the legitimacy and leadership of the Palestinian resistance," said Samidoun. Deif is a leader of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

One poster depicted a gunman with a Carlo submachine pistol, a firearm favored by Palestinian terrorists. Other banners and poster carried by activists portrayed slain or imprisoned terrorist figures, calling for the release of the latter. These included PFLP secretary-general Ahmad Sa’adat, PFLP member and Lebanese Revolutionary Armed Factions co-founder Georges Abdallah, and French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri. On Tuesday the PFLP listed Hammouri as a member of the terrorist organization on their website.

"Posters and images of George Habash, the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP]; Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, a leader in Palestinian women’s resistance through armed struggle; and Houcine Benyahia, a Moroccan revolutionary martyr who fought for Palestinian liberation, were raised high alongside those of Palestinian prisoners struggling for liberation," said Samidoun.

"Marchers remembered the Palestinian and Arab leaders who had been targeted for assassination, particularly in Europe, for their leadership in the liberation struggle, from Mahmoud Hamshari and Basil al-Kubeisi to Fathi Shiqaqi, the founder of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement."

In August, Israel fought a short conflict with Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. 

The march, which according to Samidoun was endorsed by over 100 groups, was organized by Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, also known as Masar Badil.

Masar Badil is led by Khaled Barakat, who is alleged by Israel to be a leader of the PFLP terrorist organization. Barakat has been the subject of controversy in Canada, where he lives, since a National Post expose on him in early May which explored his alleged connections to both the PFLP and to the allegedly PFLP affiliated Samidoun — Of which his wife Charlotte Kates is also a senior member.

Similar event held in Canada

Barakat and Kates were set to attend the march, but were stopped in the Netherlands and deported. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee told The Jerusalem Post that it could not comment on the case due to privacy reasons. 

"Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network condemns the deportation of Khaled Barakat and Charlotte Kates, and calls on all supporters of Palestine to defend the right to struggle for return and liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea, and participating in the Week of Return and Liberation," said Samidoun on Tuesday. 

Unable to attend in Brussels, Kates led a sister march in Vancouver, Canada. 

“It is deeply concerning that despite its overt ties to terror, Samidoun continues to be able to operate freely as a not-for-profit in Canada," said  Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

"That Barakat was slated to promote the founder of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Canadian-listed terrorist entity, at an event featuring PFLP posters, combined with countless other instances of glorifying terrorists and inciting to violence should be more than enough to warrant action. We reiterate our calls to Public Safety to investigate and list Samidoun as a terrorist entity.”