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In 2002, terrorist Marwan Barghouti was arrested by Israel, and later sentenced to five life sentences for orchestrating shooting attacks in which five people were murdered. When arrested he was a member of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Parliament, and he has been reelected as such while serving time.

In addition, PA leader and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas appointed Barghouti to Fatah’s Central Committee. This month, the PA marks the anniversary of Barghouti’s so-called “kidnapping” by Israel, as Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) exposed earlier this month, when the PA referred to Barghouti as a “national symbol and a model of inspiration for the masses.”

From Terrorist to Teacher

Another fact about Barghouti PMW exposed is that he serves as supervisor of academic studies in prison, teaching and tutoring other prisoners who are studying for their MA degrees in “Israel Studies.”

Released terrorist murderer Karim Younes shed more light on Barghouti’s doings as a teacher recently, when he praised Barghouti at a Fatah ceremony honoring Barghouti.

Younes spoke with awe about terrorist Barghouti, telling the audience of his dedication to his terrorist prisoner students — teaching for hours while sitting on an iron pipe with a rag over it. Younes related that 200 of Barghouti’s students have completed MA degrees under his supervision:

Released terrorist prisoner Karim Younes: “Marwan … has been a leader since his youth, and he is a Fatah member and a member of its [Fatah] Central Committee … [In prison] we would call him: ‘The professor who sits on a pole.’ Forgive me [the expression] ‘the professor who sits on a pole.’ I cannot explain to you how tough, persistent, and loyal he is, because he is the man behind the great achievement, the achievement of academic studies, the systematic studies in the Israeli prisons.

No one can describe how this uncompromising man can sit on a bit of iron pipe and put a rag or torn blanket on it and sit from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and lecture to his students, of whom 200 have already completed a master’s degree … At 11:00 a.m. he goes down, loaded with books, the textbooks are in his hands, and he continues until 3:00 p.m. without a break with the prisoner students so that they will complete their studies. They complete their studies at Al-Quds [Open] University, but they do not complete their studies like in regular universities … Those who were released and continued to study in universities [outside prison] know the difference between the studies inside prison and outside. Studying with brother Marwan — if the [regular] study material is two books, with Marwan it’s seven. A regular class is an hour and a half, with Marwan [it’s] four hours.” [emphasis added]

[Official PA TV, May 8, 2023]

From Murderer to Mentor

Another imprisoned terrorist is also participating actively in educating his fellow terrorist inmates. Murderer Maslama Thabet, who participated in the murder of two Israelis, has not only completed a master’s degree on his own and is now working on a doctorate, but he has also become a “dedicated” mentor of other prisoners, teaching and supervising them at all academic levels:

Maslama Thabet … is serving 25 years. .. During the years of his imprisonment, he obtained a master’s degree in Israeli Studies, and he is about to complete his doctorate…

He is dedicating himself now to the topic of education in Ketziot Prison, and is giving lectures and exams and supervising the prisoners who are sitting [high school] matriculation exams and bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and this is through the prisoners’ library that belongs to the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs. [emphasis added]

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 15, 2023]

Additional reports in PA media have mentioned other terrorist prisoners — including murderers — who have completed university degrees in prison:

Abu Ramez Barham, father of terrorist murderer Zafer Barham: “Before he was imprisoned, [Zafer Barham] studied in junior high school, completed junior high school, and was in 10th grade.”

Official PA TV host 1: “He was sentenced to life and 3 years, right?”

Abu Ramez Barham: “He was sentenced to life and 3 years, Allah be praised. In prison — here is new information: In prison he completed [high school] matriculation exams. He completed a bachelor’s degree.

Official PA TV host 2: “That’s great! That’s great!”

Abu Ramez Barham: “And he is studying for a master’s degree and has published two novels, Allah be praised. A novel named ‘Smile of a Fighter,’ and a novel named ‘Ten Olive Trees.’” [emphasis added]

[Official PA TV, Ramadan and the People, April 17, 2023]


Prisoner Osama Al-Ashqar [i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of eight] … was sentenced by the occupation to eight life sentences and another 50 years. Prisoner Al-Ashqar has completed his studies, as he achieved a [high school] matriculation certificate and a bachelor’s degree in social studies, and he also studied Hebrew, English, and French in prison. [emphasis added]

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 29, 2023]

Prisoner Muammar Shahrour [i.e., terrorist, recruited and armed suicide bomber Abd Al-Basset Odeh who murdered 30] … the occupation sentenced him to 29 life sentences and another 20 years … Shahrour is considered one of the prisoner activists in the prisons at all levels, and he succeeded in completing his studies and achieved two bachelor’s degrees and is about to receive a master’s degree. [emphasis added]

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 10, 2023]

“The [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club said that [Prisoner Tayyoun Abd Al-Hadi] Tayyoun [i.e., terrorist, murdered one] … was sentenced to life and during [his] imprisonment he achieved a bachelor’s degree in political science, and today he is in Nafha Prison.” [emphasis added]

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 11, 2023]

The author is a senior analyst at Palestinian Media Watch, where a version of this article first appeared.

Source of original article: Nan Jacques Zilberdik / Opinion – (
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