Television shows broadcast during Ramadan are usually extensively watched by Arab-Muslim viewing audiences and create lively discussions in the media and social networks.
The Palestinian terrorist organizations, especially Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), produce their own television series for Ramadan, competing for attention. The audiences have a wide range of online outlets to choose from, and tend to watch programs offering entertainment, dramas and comedies produced and disseminated by media giants in Turkey, Egypt and the Persian Gulf countries.
During the past few years Hamas and the PIJ have made efforts to improve the quality of the programs they produce and raise their ratings. One of their methods is to link them to local current events, especially the “heroic achievements” of the armed “resistance” [terrorist attacks] in the “struggle” against Israel.
Hamas’ media department series for Ramadan 2023, called “The path of sacrifice,” was devoted to Palestinian terrorist operatives who carried out attacks. Their objective was to ramp up anti-Israeli incitement and encourage terrorist attacks in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and inside Israel. Following Hamas policy, the incitement was aimed not only at its own operatives but at the operatives of all the armed terrorist organizations, as well as Palestinians who have no organizational affiliation and on their own initiative attack with simple, easily available weapons, such as knives and vehicles. The series’ emphasis was on terrorist attacks in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and inside Israel without reference to terrorism from the Gaza Strip.
Hamas used its own al-Aqsa TV, which broadcasts from the Gaza Strip, to produce, broadcast and disseminate the series. In addition, Hamas produced videos for the social networks, using the fictional name of “the Wolf,” which supplied guidance and gave explicit instructions for carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel.
Ramadan TV Series
This year Hamas’ media information department used al-Aqsa TV to broadcast its Ramadan series to incite and encourage terrorist attacks in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and inside Israel. Entitled “The path to sacrifice,” the programs were documentaries devoted to recognition and appreciation of Palestinian prisoners from the various terrorist organizations. Broadcast by satellite, the episodes were available on the seraj.tv website and on the social media which allowed uploads.
Episodes were composed of three sections, each devoted to a different Palestinian prisoner. Information about the prisoner’s lives was given and a reenactment of his terrorist attack was shown. Interviews were held with relatives, media personnel from Hamas and the other terrorist organizations, Hamas clerics who justified terrorism based on Islamic ideology and “experts” from Hamas’ military-terrorist wing who praised the actions taken by the operatives.
Each episode also had staged segments showing the preparations for the attacks and reenactments of the attacks themselves. They were photographed at various locations in the Gaza Strip in coordination with the Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior and the assistance of the combat information unit of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing. Also included were staged segments prepared by a civilian company called Events. Some of the segments dealing with terrorist attacks carried out in Jerusalem were filmed at a site called Asdaa Country near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, which is a leisure and entertainment center located on the land of the former Israeli settlements of Gush Katif. The site has reproductions of Jerusalem streets and in the past was used by Hamas’ combat information unit for filming scenes in dramas and documentaries.
For every episode, Hamas was careful to choose prisoners whose terrorist attacks between 2001 and 2021 were consistent with its current policy of encouraging terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria carried out as personal initiatives using simple, available weapons and not necessarily linked to Hamas. Choosing to document the activities of prisoners is a way of emphasizing the “legitimacy” of attacks in which the attacker does not necessarily wind up as a shaheed.
For example, only three of the 30 episodes were devoted to prisoners who were involved in dispatching suicide bombers. Thirteen, however, were devoted to prisoners who carried out stabbing attacks, eleven to shooting attacks and four to vehicular ramming attacks.
Moreover, the choice of prisoners reflected Hamas’ effort to encourage terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria regardless of organizational or movement affiliation. Only half of the episodes were devoted to Hamas operatives, other half to operatives from Fatah, the PIJ and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Only two episodes concerned terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip, although many related to attacks carried out during the second intifada before Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip. Seventeen dealt with terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria, seven in Jerusalem and five inside Israel.
Several episodes related to terrorist attacks carried out by children and adolescents. Particularly glaring was Episode 22, broadcast on April 15, 2023, which dealt with the stabbing attack carried out in the supermarket in Sha’ar Benyamin in February 2016, where an Israeli civilian was killed by a 15 year-old boy. The episode goes into detail regarding how he acquired the knife and his determination to kill his victim. It also gives a positive spin to his home environment, which gave him the daring he showed during the attack.
Pictures from Episode 22, the 15 year-old boy who murders an Israel (seraj.tv, April 15, 2023).
Pictures from various episodes
Pictures from the episode about prisoner Yussuf Sayid Atia Zahour, who stabbed an IDF soldier to death (seraj.tv j, March 27, 2023).
prisoner Awda Farid Taleb al-Haroub and Bashir Amid Awda al-Haroub, who murdered an IDF officer in the Jordan Valley (seraj.tv, April 2, 2023).
Pictures from the episode about prisoner Abada Aziz Mustafa Abu Ra’s, who carried out the stabbing attack at the gas station in Givat Ze’ev (seraj.tv, April 16, 2023).
Pictures from the episode about prisoner Hamza Muhammad Hassan Matruk, who carried out a stabbing attack on a us in Tel Aviv (seraj.tv, April 22, 2023).
Al-Aqsa TV Incitement and Encouragement for Terrorist Attacks
Made-for-television segment showing how al-Aqsa TV broadcasts incite terrorism. The picture shows a terrorist watching an al-Aqsa TV broadcast before he carries out an attack
(seraj.tv, April 2023).
During 2023 incitement videos produced by someone calling himself “the Wolf” were uploaded to the social networks, mainly by Hamas-affiliated influencers. The videos contained explicit instructions for carrying out various types of terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria, stressing ways to make them more “effective.” Instructions were given for shooting, stabbing and vehicular ramming attacks. The staged segments of “The path of sacrifice” show that “the Wolf’s” videos and the series had the same producers, indicating that Hamas’ al-Aqsa TV had an active part in producing the videos. Not only is the style of incitement familiar, but the instructions as to how to attack and increase their lethal “effectiveness” is familiar as well.
For example, Episode 19, aired on April 12, 2023, praises Fatah terrorist Mazen al-Qasi for his part in the shooting attack at the Seafood Market restaurant in Tel Aviv in March 2003, in which three Israelis were killed. Pictures from the staged segment indicate it showed the same restaurant from the April 8, 2023, video called “Revenge for the blood-letting: who will be the next lone wolf?” which gave instructions for attacking an Israeli café.
Right: Picture from Episode 19 of “The path of sacrifice” (seraj.tv, April 12, 2023). Left: Picture the restaurant from a “wolf” video, April 8, 2023.
The stars of the series
Each of the 30 episodes aired during Ramadan was devoted to a prisoner imprisoned in Israel after having been involved in a terrorist attack or in assisting in one between the years 2001 and 2021 (one program was devoted to two brothers). Each episode showed the terrorist’s “action” and had interviews with relatives and Hamas terrorist operatives, media personnel and clerics.
The programs were devoted to the following terrorists:
Qassem ‘Aref KhalilAsafra, a Hamas terrorist from Bayt Kahal (near Hebron), who stabbed an IDF soldier to death in Migdal Oz on August 8, 2019.
Thaer Qaid Qadoura Hamad, a Fatah terrorist from Silwad, who shot and IDF soldiers and killed ten people and wounded nine in an attack north of Ramallah on March 3, 2002.
Amer Mahmoud Salman ‘Abed, a PIJ terrorist from Deir Balah in the Gaza Strip, who assisted terrorist attacks against IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip during 2002 (the second intifada).
Ali Suleiman Sayid al-Sa’adi, a PIJ terrorist from the Jenin refugee camp, who manufactured and launched mortar shells during 2002 (the second intifada).
Yussuf Sayid Atia Zahour, a Hamas terrorist from the Hebron region, who stabbed an IDF soldier to death in Migdal Oz on August 8, 2019.
Murad Muhammad Rida Ahmed Abu al-Rab, a Fatah terrorist from the Jenin region, who helped prepare explosives for suicide bombers. Helped the suicide bomber who blew himself up in Qadumim on June 30, 2006, killing four people.
Muhammad Abd al-Bassat Awda al-Haroub, a Hamas terrorist from the Hebron region who carried out a combined stabbing-beat at the Gush Etzion Junction on November 19, 2015, killing three people and wounding nine.
Sajad Ahmed Salim Abu Ghalous, from Kafr ‘Aqab (near Jerusalem), who carried out two shooting attacks in Jerusalem in March and April 2004, killing two people and wounding others.
Bassel Abd al-Rahman Ahmed al-Asmar, a PFLP terrorist from the Rmallah region, one of the terrorists who assassinated Israeli Minister of Transportation Rehavam Ze’evi in Jerusalem on October 17, 2001.
Muhammad Hassan Muhammad Abu Ghali, a PFLP terrorist from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, who carried out attacks against IDF forces in the Gaza Strip in June 2002.
Awda Farid Taleb al-Haroub and Bashir Ahmed Awda al-Haroub, Hamas terrorists from Dura (near Hebron), who murdered a reserve IDF officer near his home in the settlement of Brosh in the northern Jordan Valley on the night of October 11, 2013.
Muhammad Ramadan Muhammad al-Halabi, a Hamas terrorist from the Ramallah region, who infiltrated the settlement of Beit El on December 14, 2018. He attacked a soldier manning a post near the fence, stabbing and critically wounding him. He then fled the scene, surrendering to Israel two days later.
Bilal Ahmed Adib Abu Ziyad, a Hamas terrorist from Qabatiya (near Jenin), who assisted in carrying out a combined shooting and stabbing attack, and attempted to place IEDs at the Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem on February 3, 2016. The attack, carried out by three terrorists, killed one Border Police fighter and wounded others.
Abd al-Aziz Muhammad [or Hammad] Mahmoud Mari’, a Hamas terrorist from the Salfit region, who assisted in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 4, 2015, in which two people were killed.
Mahmoud Muhammad Sayid Abu Wahadan, a PFLP terrorist from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, who planned suicide bombing attacks during 2002.
Thaer Jamal Mahmoud Khalaf/al-Louzi, who attacked divers with a hammer in Eilat on November 30, 2018.
Muhammad Khamis Mahmoud Abrash, a Fatah terrorist from the al-Am’ari refugee camp (near Ramallah), who planned and organized many shooting attacks and the placing of IEDs in 2003.
Izz al-Din Ibrahim Ahmed Buraja, a Fatah terrorist from Halhul (near Hebron), who carried out a double vehicular ramming attack in Efrat and at the Gush Etzion Junction on November 17, 2017, injuring two people. He was shot and captured.
Mazen Mahmoud Omar al-Qadhi, a Fatah operative from al-Bireh (near Ramallah), who drove the terrorists who carried out the shooting attack in the Seafood Market restaurant in Tel Aviv on March 5, 2002, killing two people.
Ra’ed Mahmoud Jabara Musalma, a Hamas terrorist from Dura, who carried out a stabbing attack in the Panorama building in Tel Aviv on November 19, 2015, killing two people.
Samer Abd al-Samia Ahmed al-Atrash, a Hamas terrorist from the Shuafat refugee camp (in east Jerusalem), who assisted in carrying out a suicide bombing attack in French Hill in Jerusalem on May 18, 2003, in which seven people were killed.
Omar Samir Mahmoud Tahe al-Rimawi, a Hamas terrorist from Ramallah, who carried out a stabbing attack in a Rami Levi supermarket in Benyamin, killing one person. He was 15 years old at the time.
Abada Aziz Mustafa Ra’s, a Hamas terrorist from Bir Nabala (near Ramallah), who carried out a stabbing attack at the Givat Ze’ev gas station on January 27, 2016, injuring one person.
Alaa Rateb Abd al-Latif Kabha, a Fatah terrorist from Barta’a (near Jenin), who carried out a vehicular ramming attack near the settlement of Mevo Dotan on March 16, 2018.
Bassel Khaled/Salem MuhammadShawamra, who carried out a stabbing attack in the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem on September 13, 2021.
Omar Abd al-Jalil Abd al-Jabber al-Abd, a Hamas terrorist from Kobar (near Ramallah), who carried out a stabbing attack in the home of a family in the settlement of Halamish on July 21, 2017, killing three people.
Bassel Imad Subhi Arif, a Fatah terrorist from Gaza City, who attempted a shooting attack in 2002.
Wa’el Mahmoud Ali Qassem, a Hamas terrorist from Silwan (east Jerusalem), who was an operative in a squad which carried out attacks during 2002.
Hamza Mahmoud Hassan Matroub, a Hamas terrorist from the Tulkarm refugee camp, who carry out a stabbing attack on a bus in Tel Aviv on January 21, 2015, wounding two people.
Hamza Khaled Yussuf Abu Arqoub, a Fatah terrorist from the Nablus area, who killed two Israelis near Nablus on July 30, 2002.