The Jerusalem Center publishes this essay in advance of its study on the Stealth Intifada – The First Hundred Days.
On January 25, 2016, two Palestinian terrorists jumped a fence and entered the Jewish community of Beit Horon where they stabbed two Jewish women, killing 23-year-old Shlomit Krigman. The assailants were shot and killed by the community’s security guard.
The next day the Fatah organization published this poster mourning the “brave shahid [martyr]” Ibrahim Osama Alan. The message, issued by the Fatah branches in Ramallah, Al Bira and Beit Ur al Tahta in the “name of Allah the merciful and beneficent,” mourned their “son.” The background for the terrorist’s portrait is the Dome of the Rock, the gilded icon that has replaced the less photogenic al-Aqsa mosque in the Palestinian public relations campaign, despite al-Aqsa’s superior Islamic holiness.
Ibrahim Osama Alan may not have been a member of any organized terrorist cell nor received instructions from a Fatah leader, but there is another clear trail.
After terror attacks just a few years ago, Israeli investigators looked beyond the Palestinian suicide bomber and followed the trail of the bomber’s driver, religious handler, paymaster, bomb maker, recruiter, and ultimately the commander. In the current surge of attacks the terrorist trail may not be apparent before the attack, but the terror incitement trail after the attack certainly is.
Upon learning of Ibrahim Osama Alan’s attack and death, someone of authority in Fatah ordered this poster. A copywriter was assigned, photos had to be obtained from the terrorist’s family, a graphic artist was employed, and a printing and internet production crew was activated. The Fatah authority then approved it, and if printed posters were published, a crew was dispatched to plaster them everywhere.
The terrorist chain could not be detected before this attack, but it can be examined after the fact, especially since it serves as an incitement tool for the next terrorist attack.