On Saturday 19 August, 17-year-old Qutayba Ziad Zahran approached Israeli border police. After Israeli troops asked him to stop, he pulled out a knife and tried to stab them. He was shot dead.

News sources, such as Ma’an and Al Jazeera, were quick to report on the teen’s death using words such as “allegedly” and “according to Israel”, attempts to suggest the teen was innocent, that he hadn’t carried out a terror attack and that Israel killed him in cold blood.

The truth, however, is that Zahran was a terrorist and he died willingly.

Zahran’s final message on Facebook, as well as some of the other messages he left in his final days, speak volumes of the ideology of Islamic terrorists. And you may be surprised to hear that Zahran didn’t mention “Israeli brutality” or the “occupation”, but instead he mentioned “martyrdom”, “paradise” and “to make sure that Allah’s word is the highest word”.

This is counter to what we are told by many politicians and the media who try to tell us this is “not a religious war” and that all this fighting is only “about land”.

You will notice that when a terrorist attack happens in the UK, Europe or America, this same narrative continues. We are told that it is Western actions that caused our people to be slaughtered. Likewise, when Palestinian terrorists stab innocent Israelis to death, we are told that it was Israel’s actions that caused the attack to happen.

This excuse is nonsense and does not explain why ISIS would target a country like the Philippines, a nation that has neither invaded another country nor participated in the recent wars in the Middle East. It also doesn’t explain why “Allah Akbar” is shouted as the terrorists carry out their attack, after all, if religion has nothing to do with it, why do the terrorists shout the name of a religious deity?

In reality this is a religious war. Islamic terrorists carry out their attacks because they believe, according to their understanding, conviction and belief, that they are carrying out the will of Allah and doing what is commanded of them in the Quran.

This evil ideology is what motivates Islamic terrorists to kill innocent people on the streets of Barcelona, London, Paris, Manchester, Nice, Boston and Jerusalem (to name but a few).

When Qutayba Ziad Zahran, a 17-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank, drew his knife and attacked the Israeli policeman, he was following that exact same hate filled ideology.

This is evidenced in a letter Zahran wrote to his family and posted on Facebook on the day of his death, in which he made clear that he would carry out a terror attack and was going to die.

Picture: Qutayba Ziad Zahran

He told his father “I have achieved my wish and I am about to die a martyr for the sake of Allah”. He continued “I have left this mortal world, rushing to the immortal life in paradise where I will meet Allah’s chosen prophet… because martyrdom has called upon me after I have been wishing to obtain it for a while.”

To his mother he asked “sacrifice me for Allah’s reward” and said not to cry, but instead to “utter trilling cries of joy because this is your martyr son’s wedding”.

He also gave his mother his three reasons for carrying out the attack; to “die fighting for the sake of Allah, to make sure that Allah’s word is the highest word, and to take revenge for the martyrs of Palestine”.

He then went on to state the promises of the Quran, saying, “The prophet promised that a martyr will intercede for the benefit of 70 of his family members.”

The trouble is that Zahran, and seemingly his family, truly believe that his death will grant him paradise and not only that, but that his whole family up to 70 members will enter paradise as a result.

You may have heard the phrase “the Israelis love life, but the Palestinians love death”. Surprisingly, this phrase has been uttered many times by the Palestinians themselves. When someone believes they will enter paradise through martyrdom, or “death for Allah”, it is not hard to understand why they long for and celebrate death. This is why many parents of martyrs are filmed handing out sweets and celebrating. They are joyful because they believe they and their children, for lack of a better word, are now ‘saved’.

Along with an eternal paradise, Palestinian terrorists are also promised earthly rewards.

According to Palestinian law, terrorist prisoners serving time in Israeli jails and families of assailants killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis are eligible to receive stipends (fixed monthly payments) and other benefits.

This salary is extremely generous in the Palestinian territories. Where a school teacher in the so-called West Bank will earn around £200 per month and a skilled labourer will earn around £320 per month, an imprisoned Palestinian terrorist can receive up to £2,300 per month. If the terrorist dies a martyr, this salary is transferred to the family.

In the past five years the Palestinian Authority has paid more than £1 billion to terrorists. What’s more, they even openly admit it, and despite international pressure, they will never stop paying.

In fact Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month made this vow. His exact words were: “Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary (rawatib) of a Martyr (Shahid) or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the Martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted.”

We wrote an article at the time all about Abbas’s support for terrorism and the lacklustre response from the British government, which you can read here. And if you want to hear from a terrorist’s mouth that the incentive of money works, click here.

An important note in these salaries is that certain terrorists receive extra money based on a number of factors. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), there is an additional monthly $78 (£61) supplement for terrorists from Jerusalem and a $130 (£101) supplement for Arab Israeli terrorists. This additional incentive is given because the Palestinian Authority knows that an attack from within is much more painful than an attack from outside. When Israelis hear of an attack in the so-called West Bank, it seems distant, but if the attack happens in the heart of their capital, or by a fellow countryman, then it clearly shocks the public more. Remember, the Palestinian leadership pays terrorists, not because they want freedom, but because they want to destroy Israel.

Another incentive for terrorists aside from the healthy salary is the title of ‘martyr’, one of the highest honours in Islam. A martyr’s funeral procession sees the body of the “hero” paraded through the streets as crowds praise their achievement and celebrate their “journey to paradise”… or at least, that is what they believe.

Along with his religious beliefs, Zahran also wanted to be seen as a hero. In the weeks before his death, Zahran shared a Facebook post of a martyr’s funeral with a body covered in a Hamas flag being carried down the street by a crowd of gunmen and the words “How I long for a procession like this”.

Zahran was born and raised in a society that praises terrorists as heroes above athletes, doctors and firemen. For example, a school in his town was recently named after a terrorist who masterminded the Munich Massacre, in which 11 members of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team were murdered. His religious beliefs lead him to believe that he would reach paradise if he also died attacking Jews.

Qutayba Ziad Zahran was manipulated and lied to from birth to martyrdom. A tactic the Palestinians have enforced in every area of society and used for decades. Why? Because they know it works.

Terror attacks only benefit the Palestinians. The Israelis are always the ones made to suffer. When a Palestinian stabber in his late teens is shot dead, it is chalked up by the media as another Palestinian child killed by Israel. It is a lose, lose for Israel.

As Israel is once again slammed by the media for killing a Palestinian, despite the fact it was just protecting itself, the ‘martyr’ is paraded through the streets and celebrated. And as Palestinian leaders condemn Israel for violence in public, to their own people they praise the ‘martyr’ and “welcome every drop of blood spilled”.

Our media blindly reports against Israel and our governments ignore the reality, but we need to wake up to the truth. Palestinian children are brainwashed and manipulated to hate Israel and the Jews and to sacrifice themselves for Allah. And that is why, for now at least, there will not be peace.

The full letter of Qutayba Ziad Zahran is below (although it does not include the Quranic verse he mentioned about fighting for Allah).

Dear family members… I have good news for you.

My precious father, forgive me.

Here I have achieved my wish and I am about to die a martyr for the sake of Allah, armed with the determination of mujahidin (fighters). I have left this mortal world, rushing to the immortal life in paradise where I will meet Allah’s chosen prophet, peace be upon him, alongside prophets, companions, and virtuous people. You should know, my family, that I haven’t left you because I am fed up with you, or because you were bad to me, but only because martyrdom has called upon me after I have been wishing to obtain it for a while.

My precious mother, forgive me.

Allah’s consent is dependent on your consent, and my wish won’t be realized without this condition. My wish won’t be complete unless you remain patient and sacrifice me for God’s reward by considering me a martyr who died fighting for the sake of Allah, to make sure that Allah’s word is the highest word, and to take revenge for the martyrs of Palestine. Don’t cry over losing me, but rather utter trilling cries of joy because this is your martyr son’s wedding.

My beloved brothers, forgive me.

Be helpful to your mother and father and be patient and sacrifice me for Allah’s reward. Be firm and support each other, and forgive me if I had ever erred against any of you. Continue to cling to God’s religion and hold firmly to the rope of God.

My beloved sisters, forgive me.

Don’t forget what I asked you a few days before I left for the sake of God. Stay by my mother’s side and be sisters to Aisha and al-Khansaa.

Forgive me everybody. If I failed to be helpful enough in life in this world, I won’t fail to be unhelpful to you on the day of judgment, God willing. The prophet promised that a martyr will intercede for the benefit of 70 of his family members.

My will:

My will for you, my family, is that nobody cries during my procession to paradise, but rather distribute dates and utter trilling cries of joy during my martyrdom wedding.

And finally, I will say: see you soon in a paradise, whose width is only equal to heaven and earth and has been prepared for Allah-fearing people.

Our last prayer is thanks be to Allah, the lord of the worlds.

Living martyr,

Qutayba Ziad Zahran