JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian Authority state-run television paid tribute to the men serving five consecutive life sentences for murdering five members of the Fogel family last March in Itamar, a community in Samaria.
Late on March 11, 2011, Hakim Awad and his cousin, Amjad, from the nearby Arab village of Awarta, breached Itamar's security fence and entered the Fogel home.
There they slashed to death 11-year-old Yoav, 4-year-old Elad, 3-month-old Hadas and their parents, Udi and Ruth, who had retired for the evening on the Jewish Sabbath.
The mother and aunt of the two convicts were guests on "For You," a weekly program on state-sponsored P.A. TV focusing on Palestinians serving time in Israeli jails.
Awad's mother told the host she could not visit her son for security reason, to which he responded, "Go ahead, sister, we can convey your voice."
"My greetings to dear Hakim, the apple of my eye, who carried out the operation in Itamar, sentenced to five life sentences," his mother, Nouf Awad, said.
The host added, "We, for our part, also convey our greetings to them."
Awad's aunt read a poem she'd written to them, calling them both "heroes" and Awad "the hero and the legend."
Other family members, who helped plan the attack and destroy evidence afterward, were also called "heroes."
The Palestinian Media Watch, which reported the story, said the host knew beforehand who his guests would be.Click here to view PMW's full report.
Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Palestinian Authority's glorification of the murderers.
Netanyahu told Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore it was a "disappointment" to see the P.A.'s official TV station present the killers as heroes and legends.
"This comes on the heels of the Palestinian mufti's call to murder Jews wherever they are, also broadcast on official Palestinian television," Netanyahu said.
He called on the P.A. to issue a "prompt condemnation."