On October 31, 2016, Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Khaleq Turkman, a 25-year-old Palestinian policeman, carried out a shooting attack at a checkpoint in Beit El, wounding three Israeli soldiers, one of them seriously. Turkman’s brother Rabi’a, who was killed in 2011, was an official in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and the Popular Resistance Committees, and was active in confrontations with Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
Following the attack, Palestinian social media users posted images and banners praising Turkman and his attack. Such posts also appeared on the Facebook pages of Fatah offices in the West Bank, and even on Fatah’s official Facebook page, which referred to Turkman as “the hero martyr.”
Facebook pages associated with Hamas featured calls for Palestinian security forces personnel to carry out similar attacks as part of the current Al-Quds Intifada that began in October 2015. Social networks also saw use of the hashtags “The Resisting Policeman” and “The Martyr Policeman.”
Following are examples of images posted following the attack:
Official Fatah Facebook Pages Praise “Hero Martyr Muhammad Turkman”
Following the attack, the official Fatah Facebook page featured a poster showing images of Muhammad Turkman against the backdrop of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The poster, which was shared by the Facebook pages of Fatah offices in Tulkarm, Bethlehem, the town of ‘Illar, and central Khan Yunis, stated: “Martyr policeman Muhammad Turkman, an officer with Palestinian police special forces, perpetrator of the shooting operation near the Beit El checkpoint that wounded three Israeli soldiers.” The Facebook pages shared the poster using various hashtags such as “Martyr Policeman,” “Member of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah,” “Member of Palestinian Authority Apparatus,” and “Honorable President Mahmoud Abbas’s Man.”
The poster on the official Fatah Facebook page