(CNSNews.com) – Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave a military funeral this week to the man believed to be the last surviving planner of or participant in the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also attended Amin Al-Hindi’s funeral ceremony Wednesday at the presidential compound in Ramallah
Al-Hindi, who had cancer of the liver and the pancreas, died in Amman, Jordan on Tuesday aged 70.
“President Mahmoud Abbas attended the funeral, reciting passages of the Quran in Al-Hindi's honor,” the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
It quoted top Fatah official Zakariah Al-Agha as calling Al-Hindi a “patriotic leader” and a “martyr.”
“Fatah sources said Al-Hindi was given the homage befitting a hero both in the West Bank and Gaza,” said the Gulf News of Dubai.
A member of Abbas’ Fatah faction of the PLO since the 1960s, Al-Hindi rose to a senior position in the PLO’s “security department.” He was widely reported to have been involved in planning the 1972 attack that cost the lives of 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team and a German policeman.
After the attack, the Israeli government ordered agents to hunt down and kill those responsible and at least 12 PLO members were reportedly killed across Europe in the following months.
Al-Hindi lay low for two decades and in the 1990s emerged as an advisor to Yasser Arafat’s delegation in peace talks with Israel that led to the Oslo Accords signed in September 1993.
A month later Arafat appointed him as head of one of the security agencies he intended to set up once he established the self-rule Palestinian Authority.
At one point Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s Labor government objected to the presence of Al-Hindi in the Palestinian delegation, citing Munich, and Israeli media reports at the time called him ““one of the planners” of the 1972 attack.
Nonetheless when Arafat set up base in Gaza and Jericho, Rabin allowed Al-Hindi to return and he duly became head of Arafat’s General Intelligence Service. (Rabin that year allowed another known terrorist Mustafa al-Liftawi (Abu Firas) – involved in planning car-bombings in Jerusalem during the 1970s – to return despite strong objections from the opposition Likud Party. Arafat appointed Liftawi governor of Ramallah.)
Al-Hindi held the top intelligence position until Arafat’s death and after his retirement from that post was appointed as an advisor to Abbas, Palestinian media reported in April 2005.
Al-Hindi never publicly acknowledged his role in the Munich attack. A colleague, Mohammed Oudeh (Abu Daoud), admitted planning the operation in a 1999 autobiography.
The admission prompted the Israeli government – then under Likud Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – to refuse permission for him to return to the P.A. territories.
Oudeh died in Syria last month, aged 73, and was hailed by Abbas as a hero.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an independent Israeli monitor of Arab media, has tracked numerous examples of P.A. and Fatah officials, from Abbas down, honoring terrorists in various ways.
They include Dalal Mughrabi, a female terrorist involved in a 1978 attack in which 35 Israelis were killed, and Hamas bomb-maker, Yihye Ayyash.
In a recent report, PMW listed 100 examples of places and events in the P.A. areas named after 46 terrorists.
“Whereas the PA leadership has publicly committed to fight violence, this message can only be seen as insincere by their own people, when numerous terrorists who murdered Israelis are repeatedly glorified by the PA leadership even in 2010,” the organization said.
“For peace to have a chance, terrorists must be ostracized as immoral outcasts, not immortalized as heroes and role models.”