Fahmi Mashahreh, who is serving 20 life sentences in an Israeli prison was praised by the Palestinian Authority in February for smuggling his sperm out of the prison, finishing a matriculation and masters degree in business administration, receiving a license for Quran recitation, and even publishing a book, all during his sentence. Mashahreh was involved in a 2002 bus bombing in Jerusalem that killed 19 and wounded 74.
"Prisoner Fahmi Mashahreh … was arrested during the Al-Aqsa Intifada … and today he is the father of four children. He managed to achieve the joy of the birth of two of them from inside the prison by smuggling sperm [out of prison]. He became the father of the first ‘ambassador of freedom’ on the land of Jerusalem.…leaving the jailor perplexed, defeated, and humiliated,” a host on the Palestinian Authority’s TV show, Good Morning Jerusalem proudly announced on February 19, 2021, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).The reporter continued, “Fahmi... managed to achieve a matriculation certificate and a master’s degree in business management and institution management... and in addition obtained a license in Quran recitation... and his greatest achievement is the publication of a book."
Not only did Mashahreh illegally smuggle his sperm from the prison, higher education for Israeli security prisoners was also outlawed in 2011 after the court decided murder convicts in the country’s prisons were receiving benefits while hostages such as Gilad Shalit were suffering. Although Israel prison authorities supposed that degrees could be a tool in ‘rehabilitating’ uneducated terrorists, many terrorists took advantage of such an opportunity. Those that never received a higher education saw the chance to learn as motivation to commit terror attacks and become educated "heroes."
Despite the law against higher education, the Palestinian Authority has been offering free degrees to jailed terrorists as a reward for their heroism, through the Al-Quds Open University. The university offers BA and MA studies to the prisoners, entirely paid for by the PA, run from within the prisons.
"We send all the blessings to our prisoners, who are truly a crown of honor on our heads… This program [of studies] is defiance within the Israeli prisons... At Al-Quds Open [University] we have begun the practical and fixed program in 5 prisons: Rimon, Ketziot, Gilboa, Nafha, and Shikma,” said the university’s President for Aide for Student Affairs, Muhammad Shahin.
The PA's enticing media advertisements boasted, “"Parents see prison as a career path for their terrorist sons – all the way to a PhD" and "Imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, including murderers, receive free university studies within Israeli prisons – generously funded by the Palestinian Authority and in cooperation with Palestinian universities and even UNESCO!"
The quotes and content above were translated by Palestinian Media Watch, which monitors and translates information on Palestinian media platforms seeking to exalt terrorism.