Members of the Palestinian Bar Association advance towards Israeli security forces at the so-called "Courthouse Roadblock" near Beit El, duringa show of solidarity with Palestinian terrorist operative Muhannad Halabi. He was the Palestinian terrorist who carried out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, killing two and wounding two (YouTube, October 12, 2015).
1. Last week the EU-funded Palestinian Bar Association (PBA) expressed solidarity with two of the Palestinian terrorists who carried out lethal stabbing attacks in Jerusalem:
1) PBA members took a series of steps to show solidarity withMuhannad Halabi, a law student at Al-Quds University, who carried out a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. Halabi killed two Israelis and wounded two others (a mother and her baby). To show their solidarity, PBA lawyers, some of them wearing the judicial robes, held a demonstration the IDF roadblock near Beit El, PBA council members paid a condolence call on the Halabi family, and the PBA posthumously awarded the "shaheed" Muhannad Halabi an honorary LL.D (doctor of law) degree.
2) The PBA also sent a message of condolence to Muhammad Alian, a lawyer and father of the "heroic shaheed" Bahaa Alian. Bahaa Alian was one of two Palestinian terrorists who carried out the combined shooting and stabbing attack on the number 78 bus in Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem on October 13, 2015.
2. The support shown by the Palestinian Bar Association is one aspect of the extensive internal popular and governmental Palestinian support for the terrorists carrying out the recent wave of attacks. Support is shown even when the terrorists attack innocent civilians and their actions are overtly military and go beyond the popular resistance (for example, shooting and stabbing civilians on a bus), which is the stated policy of the PA.
Palestinian Bar Association Awards Terrorist Muhannad Halabi an Honorary LL.D
3. At a meeting held in Ramallah on October 10, 2015, the PBA council voted to posthumously award Muhannad Halabi an honorary LL.D to Muhannad Halabi, the terrorist who carried out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem and killed two Israeli civilians. They also decided that the next swearing-in ceremony of Palestinian lawyers would be named for him. After the meeting council members paid a condolence call on the Halabi family, because, they claimed, he had excelled in his law studies (PBA website, October 10, 2015).
4. The council's decision to award the terrorist with a posthumous honorary LL.D was posted on the PBA's website in Arabic, but not in English (PBA website, October 14, 2015). The full version of the decision was also posted only on the PBA's Arabic Facebook page. The reason might have been a desire to keep a low profile regarding the Association's support for terrorism to avoid alerting various agencies in the West, which support the PBA (According to the PBA website, it is funded by the EU).
Left: The Arabic reads, "The council of the Palestinian Bar Association awards an honorary LL.D degree to the shaheed al-Halabi." Right: The PBA's Arabic homepage, with the decision (circled in red) to award terrorist Muhannad Halabi an honorary LL.D (PBA website, October 14, 2015).
The PBA's English homepage, which makes no mention of the decision to award terrorist Muhannad Halabi an honorary LL.D (circled in red) (PBA website, October 14, 2015).
PBA Lawyers Demonstrate at the IDF Roadblock near Beit El
5. On October 12, 2015, the PBA in the PA held a demonstration near the IDF roadblock at Beit El (the "Courthouse Roadblock") to show solidarity with Muhannad Halabi. Some of the demonstrators wore their black judicial robes. They advanced towards the IDF soldiers stationed at the roadblock chanting "With spirit and blood we will redeem you, oh shaheed" (YouTube, October 12, 2015). The IDF soldiers, who felt they were in danger, used tear gas to disperse the demonstration (Karameh Press, October 12, 2015).
6. According to PBA chairman Hussein Shabaneh, the demonstration was held to protest claims in the Israeli press that the Association supported terrorism against civilians because it had awarded Muhannad al-Halabi a posthumous honorary LL.D degree. He also claimed that the demonstration wanted to send to Israel was the Palestinian people would continue the "resistance" [i.e., terrorism and violence] and that they could not remain silent in the face to the "daily crimes against women and children, which were a violation of international laws and conventions" (Lakom website, October 12, 2015). Hatem Shahin, deputy PBA chairman, claimed the Association had the "right" to honor the "heroes of the Palestinian people" (PBA website, October 12, 2015).
Hussein Shabaneh (arrow), chairman of the PA bar association, marches at the head of a protest march to the "Courthouse Roadblock" (PBA website, October 12, 2015).
Left: Hussein Shabaneh, chairman of the PA bar association. Right: PA attorneys demonstrate at the Courthouse Roadblock, near Beit El (YouTube, October 12, 2015).
Stabbing Attack Carried Out by Honorary LL.D Recipient Muhannad Halabi
7. On October 3, 2015in the Old City of Jerusalem, Muhannad Halabi stabbed three members of an Israeli family and an Israeli soldier. Grabbing the gun of one of the victims, Halabi shot at Border Policemen who rushed to the scene. They returned his fire and shot and killed him. Two of the wounded Israelis, the civilian father and the soldier, who was passing by at the time, died. The mother and her baby were evacuated to a hospital in serious condition (Facebook page of the Israel Police Force, October 3, 2015). The Israelis killed were Rabbi Nehemiah Lavie, 41, from Jerusalem and IDF Corporal Aharon Bennett, 21, from Beitar Ilit.
The two Israelis killed by Muhannad Halabi. Left: Corporal Aharon Bennett. Right: Rabbi Nehemiah Lavie (The Jewish Voice, October 3, 2015).
8. Muhannad Halabi, 19, from the village of Surda near El-Bireh, was a law student at Al-Quds University. The day before the attack he used his Facebook page several times to protest the events on the Temple Mount. He wrote that "the third intifada has already begun." The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) issued a notice claiming Muhannad Halabi was one of its operatives (Aljazeera.net, October 5, 2015). We have no proof of the reliability of the claim.
A PIJ banner hung at the mourning tent erected for Muhannad Halabi in the village of Surda (Aljazeera.net, October 5, 2015)
PBA Death Notice for the Armon Hanatziv Palestinian Terrorist, October 13, 2015
9. On October 13, 2015, PBA chairmanHussein Shabaneh and the council members issued a formal death notice on the Association's Facebook page for the death of the "heroic shaheed" Bahaa Alian, son of Palestinian lawyer Muhammad Alian (PA PBA Facebook page, October 13, 2015). On October 13, 2015, Bahaa Alian and Bilal Abu Ghanam carried out a combined shooting and stabbing attack. It occurred on a number 78 bus in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv, killing two Israeli civilians. They were Haim Haviv, 78, from Jerusalem, and Alon Govberg, 51, from Jerusalem (Ynet, October 13, 2015).
10. The death notice on the PBA's Facebook page inspired favorable comments, among them, "May Allah have mercy on [Bahaa Alian]," "You have uplifted our heads [for us]," and "May you rest in peace in paradise" (PA PBA Facebook page, October 13 and 14, 2015).
The PBA's death notice for Bahaa Alian, calling him a "heroic shaheed" (PA PBA Facebook page, October 13, 2015).
The Palestinian Bar Association in the Palestinian Authority
1. PBA members are lawyers from both Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip. The organization was established by a presidential edict in 1997, dictating the formation of an association that would unite all Palestinians lawyers, in effect ending the existence of the organizations operating separately at the time in Judea and Samaria, and Gaza Strip.
2. The PBA is governed by a 15-member council (nine from Judea and Samaria and three from the Gaza Strip). Its main office is in Ramallah and it has a branch in Gaza City. Its current chairman is Hussein Shabaneh, himself a lawyer. The PBA is also entrusted with the professional training of future Palestinian lawyers, and to that end holds conferences and seminars on judicial topics.
Left: PBA chairman Hussein Shabaneh, Right: The PBA logo (PA PBA website, October 15, 2015).
3. The PBA is funded by the European Union, as is noted on its logo:
English and Arabic inscription on the PBA website (PBA website, October 15, 2015).
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