The history of Israel since its rebirth in 1948 has been littered with numerous brutal acts of terror and bloodshed against its citizens and defenders.

One such act engraved in the country’s collective memory is the horrific lynching of two of its soldiers by a bloodthirsty Palestinian mob exactly twenty years ago.

The terrifying incident took place on October 12, 2000, when two IDF reservist soldiers took a wrong turn on the way to their base and ended up in a Palestinian-controlled area.

First Corporal Yosef Avrahami and First Sargent Vadim Norzhich mistakenly entered the Palestinian city of Ramallah and were promptly apprehended by the local police. The two men were taken to the city’s police headquarters, where they were beaten and killed by an “Allahu akbar” chanting mob.

A “mob of Palestinians stormed the building and tortured the soldiers to death, mutilating and defiling their bodies beyond recognition,” an official Israeli report stated.

The brutality did not end with the killing of the unarmed soldiers. When the wife of one of the reservists called up to inquire about his whereabouts, one of the murderers picked up the phone and told her laughingly, “I slaughtered your husband a few minutes ago.”

Corporal Avrahami was a 33-year-old toy store manager and a father of three. Sargent Norzhich’s wife was three months pregnant at the time of his killing.

Raw and edited footage of the 2000 Ramallah lynching (Israel’s Channel 12 News)

“At the same time, the guy that looked like a soldier was being beaten and the crowd was getting angrier and angrier, shouting ‘Allah akbar’ – God is great. They were dragging the dead man around the street like a cat toying with a mouse,” recalled a British photographer who was an eyewitness to the killing.

“It was murder of the most barbaric kind. When I think about it, I see that man’s head, all smashed. I know that I’ll have nightmares for the rest of my life,” he said in his testimony to London’s Sunday Times.

The lynching was filmed by an Italian crew present at the scene. The Israeli media did not air the entire footage of the horrific killings out of respect for the murdered soldiers and their families.

PA TV honors “heroic” terrorists who participated in 2000 Ramallah lynching (Courtesy Palestinian Media Watch)

The most enduring image of the incident was that of Aziz Salha, one of the Palestinian murderer, waving his blood-stained hands at the cheering mob from the police station’s window. Salha, along with Rami Ibrahim, were convicted for their role in the lynching.

According to Israeli civil rights NGO Shurat HaDin, Salha “repeatedly stabbed the dying Corporal Vadim Nurzhitz and threw his body from the window. Aziz [Salha], one of the leading perpetrators of the lynch in Ramallah, was not satisfied with the brutal murder. The bodies were then abused for hours to joyous reactions from the incited mob of supporters in the street.”

The Washington Post was one of the mainstream outlets which came to the defense of Salha.

“The young man was very ill when he was a baby, he stuttered, he was shy… maybe it really wasn’t him photographed in the window… he was a calm, good-natured and athletic kid…,” the newspaper remarked in 2002 (Courtesy Honest Reporting).

Salha and his convicted co-accomplice Ibrahim were released as part of a deal with the terrorist group Hamas. They were among 1,027 Palestinian terror convicts who were exchanged for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Suppose Washington Post and other Western media outlets have been acting as apologists for Palestinian murderers like Salha. Palestinian media has been feting them as heroes. In 2018, the official Palestinian Authority television filmed at the homes of men convicted for the 2000 Ramallah lynching. The broadcaster introduced their relatives as a family of “heroic” terrorists.

“Muhammad is a handsome guy and makes one proud. I am proud that I have a brother like Muhammad,” the sister of one of the convicted terrorist declared. “[M]ay Allah release him,” prayed the host.

Palestinian institutions are still nurturing the hate which fueled the Ramallah lynching twenty years ago.

PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority has been paying lavish ‘salaries’ to convicted terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons.  The pay-for-slay scheme is subsidized by unwitting European taxpayers. As the media watchdog Palestinian Media Watch noted recently on Twitter: “The PA can only afford the cash terror rewards it pay to terrorists thanks to the generous support of the EU & the taxes Israel gathers & transfers to the PA in accordance with the Oslo Accords.”

Palestinian textbooks continue to spew antisemitic lies and glorify jihad terrorism, which indoctrinates impressionable young minds. Palestinian kids in school are taught that “martyrdom, specifically dying in the battlefield as an act of jihad, will result in ‘rewards,’” a newly released study on Palestinian curriculum found.

 

 
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