BURNING FLOWERS, BURNING DREAMS
CONSEQUENCES OF SUICIDE BOMBINGS
ON CIVILIANS IN ISRAEL 2000-2005
The apprentice lawyer in blue jeans and a pony-tail
|Early on the morning of 4 October 2003 27-year-old Hanadi Jaradat waved goodbye to her parents
and hurried off down the street. She had some business to do, something about a land transaction. An
apprentice lawyer, she was only a few days away from finishing her internship and opening her own
office. 'She was happy,' her father said later.
But Ms. Jaradat's true business lay elsewhere. She slipped across a lightly guarded part of the security fence that now separates large parts of the West Bank from Israel and made her way to a busy Arab-Israeli restaurant in Haifa called Maxim. It was full of families. Somehow she dodged the security check that all restaurants have these days.
Inside, she detonated her body belt full of explosives. She murdered 21 people, killing herself and three
A 21-year-old female student from Tulkarm who knew the coastal town of Netanya agreed to guide a male bomber to his destination. On the day of the attack, she entered Netanya wearing a white shirt and tight pants and sunglasses, with hair tied back with a ribbon. Another 20-year-old female student had aided the male bomber who detonated in the Rishon Lezion pedestrian mall, killing two and wounding 36. She was also supposed to have detonated a second bomb once people started running in panic. A 26-year-old woman from Nablus was killed when she exploded prematurely while transporting a bomb to the coastal city of Hadera to attack a restaurant. She had been engaged to a Fatah militiaman and was known to have romantic ties to other operatives in the organization.
A 24-year-old academic thwarted from carrying out a suicide attack stated that she had intended to marry a Tanzim operative from Bethlehem, but discovered he was a womanizer and abandoned the idea. Due to additional home problems, she became suicidal and the operative persuaded her that if she was going to end her life she might as well 'do it for a good cause'.
The female bomber who killed two civilians and wounded 90 in January 2002 in the Jerusalem Jaffa Road
bombing was an academic and a nurse by profession. Divorced due to being barren, she had previously
worked at the Red Crescent Society. Three of her brothers were connected with Fatah. She herself had been wounded twice by rubber bullets while treating wounded Palestinians, a fact which may also have played a role in her motivation to perpetrate the suicide bombing attack (Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2003).
There appeared to be a trend among female bombers and dispatchers of women coming from problematic
social and economic backgrounds, such as divorcees, infertile women, women related to collaborators with Israel, and women with reputations of promiscuity. Many female bombers appeared to have had romantic relationships with men who were members of terrorist organizations. Any hint of impropriety, no matter how minor, can have serious consequences for the woman involved, even prompting male family members to murder her in a so-called 'honor' killing.
For example, one 20 year old woman from the Bethlehem area
was blackmailed into recruitment as a bomber after she had an illicit personal relationship. In some cases,
rape and pregnancy have also been used to coerce young women into becoming bombers. Fatah had made
efforts to recruit as bombers young women who found themselves in distress due to social stigmatization.
"This emotional and social blackmail of socially vulnerable young women to not only kill themselves, but
also civilian victims, is a vile exploitation of the fundamental rights of women to freedom, equality and life" (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem 2002,2003).
Another reason why these women have participated in
terrorist attacks may have been to elevate their status and image in Palestinian society.
The 27-year-old divorcee and paramedic, Wafa Idris, was the first of seven female suicide bombers when
she detonated her explosives belt on the Jaffa road in Jerusalem in January 2002 killing an old man and
wounding 175 people. However, "far from being a landmark for feminism, the attack actually reinforced the traditional roles of mother and wife", says Dr Anat Berko, a criminologist at Herzlia's International Policy Institute on Counter-Terrorism (ICT). "Idris was an independent woman with a job at the Palestinian Red Crescent, but because she could not have children she was nothing in Palestinian society.
On the face of it, suicide is not an option for these social misfits since it is prohibited by Islam, yet 'martyrdom' wipes away all
sins and stigmas'. Another female suicide bomber felt spurned by her mother, another could not marry the
man she loved because their families could not agree on a dowry sum, and yet another who joined a militant
group and enjoyed new-found freedoms, (leaving her house, riding in a car, mingling with the boys), found
she had to become a bomber because otherwise she posed a liability to the group because of her inside
knowledge. Either she agree to detonate herself in some Israeli city, or they would kill her themselves. They
forced her to sign a document that she had volunteered, so her family would not seek
revenge" (Schecter 2004).
On 14 January 2004, a 22-year-old Palestinian woman, Reem Al-Reyashi, mother of two, blew herself up at the Erez crossing from the Gaza Strip to Israel. She was the first Hamas female suicide bomber. One story surrounding the bombing was that she approached the crossing on crutches. In Israeli accounts of the bombing, no crutches were mentioned, only a metal plate which the dead woman had claimed was planted in her leg and accounted for the security scanner's beeps. She came from one of the richest families in the Gaza Strip, owners of the biggest car battery factory in the region. Afterwards, her husband expressed surprise at her action, but appeared to have generally little interest in her fate. Hamas controllers were reportedly shocked and disappointed that their first female suicide bomber did not fire the imagination of the Gaza Strip residents and inspire large numbers of women to follow her example (Debka file 18 January 2004).
Some female suicide bombers have achieved acclaim as 'cult objects'. A Saudi Arabian Ambassador to
London wrote a poem extolling the virtues of Wafa Idris, the first female suicide bomber. (The Saudi
Government said it did not reflect the position of their government and it was the Ambassador's personal
opinion.) Several European filmmakers arrived to cover her story. Other reporters sought out those wounded by her attack, 'so that they could show off her handiwork' as an Israeli writer put it.
Suicide bombers have even been the inspiration for art exhibits. "Israeli blood and body parts became the creative elements of 'artists' at Al-Najah University in Nablus in the West Bank in September 2001 when a student exhibition recreated the scene of the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem. 'Blood' was splattered
everywhere, and mock body parts hung from the ceiling as if blown through the air" (Brooks 2002).
In January 2004, at the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm, a strange exhibit appeared. It was entitled "Snow White and the Madness of Truth". It featured a small ship carrying a picture of "Snow White" Islamic Jihad female bomber Hanadi Jaradat sailing in a rectangular pool filled with bloodcoloured water. Classical music was played in the background. The creator was an Israeli artist married to a Swede. Israel's Ambassador to Sweden at that time, Zvi Mazel, sparked a diplomatic incident when he wrecked (the) museum display that he said glorified the suicide bomber who murdered 21 people, including four children, and wounded over 60 others at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa on 4 October 2003 (Kleinon 2004).
He said later "I felt that I was standing in front of a horror, I felt that I was standing in front of an
exhibit that, while it was in an historic and big museum in the heart of Europe, was glorifying genocide. I
was standing in front of an exhibit calling for genocide, praising the genocide of me, you, my brothers and sisters. I pulled the plug on the three spotlights and plunged the exhibit into darkness. I think one of the spotlights fell into the water. As he was later escorted out he said "You created a pool of blood of my brothers, and you told me to do nothing. The murderer was Snow White". Israeli civilian opinion was that the whole episode was symptomatic of some attempts to glorify suicide bombers. They continue to feel a debt of gratitude to their Ambassador.
In many cultures children's heroes are movie stars, television personalities, soccer stars. But to Palestinian children heroes are often suicide bombers. In 2002 a public opinion poll indicated that 80% of Palestinian children sought death as 'martyrs'. During the Intifada the PA have employed children's TV broadcasting, the educational system, cultural programs, directives from political and religious leaders and even encouragement of their families to achieve such goals. ("Bending Twigs' in A Time To Speak: Messages About Israel, 2003).
Fourteen year olds have written farewell letters to their parents proudly describing their
desire to be shahids, and including phrases taken directly from the propaganda films like "Mother Don't Cry
For Me". PLO-TV broadcasts are reported to beam out for hours a day poems like "How sweet is the
fragrance of the shahids, How sweet is the scent of the Earth; Its thirst quenched by the gush of young
blood; Flowing from the youthful body." The actions of children who intentionally died as shahids are
presented as model behaviour: a broadcast stated on one occasion 'Dead Palestinian children, shahids, are the 'greatest message to the world'. The PLO media featured a mother of a suicide bomber who said "The best Mother's Day present I got this year was the death as a shahid of my son, Praise to Allah, I gave birth to heroes". One of her hero sons murdered five Israeli teenagers to achieve his shahada (Palestinian Media Watch 2003).
It should be noted that not all Palestinian families agree with this philosophy. In January 2004, the family of a Palestinian teenager who was killed when an explosive belt he was wearing exploded prematurely,
demanded that the PA find out who had recruited their son to carry out the suicide attack. His father accused those who dispatched his son as a suicide bomber as exploiting his grief over the death of his brother and cousin, one killed two weeks earlier during IDF clashes with stone-throwers in Nablus, and the other killed during clashes around a funeral procession.
In 2005 a journalist interviewed eight families of suicide bombers and asked how they were feeling now about their children's deeds, as the Intifada was supposedly ending. "Despite initial proclamation of pride in their martyrdom, the eight families she interviewed admitted feeling sad, angry and unfairly disadvantaged. Several were disgruntled that the decision of their family member to serve as a human bomb had been less than efficacious, considering the increased incursions by Israel and building of the fence. Others felt inconvenienced and literally put out their homes were destroyed, business was bad and family members were stopped at checkpoints when they wanted to enter Israel.
One parent blamed terrorist leaders for inciting and recruiting the children of others, but never
their own.. .none of (the) interviewees expressed guilt or remorse, neither for their children's violence nor
over their part in it... The Palestinian parents didn't suffer nightmares over the people their children had
murdered or disabled, nor did they lose sleep over the sowing of destructive seeds within the next generation
of Palestinian children" (Sofer 2005).
Golda Meir once said, "the Arabs will make peace with Israel when they love their children more than they hate us". But, in the decades that have since passed, the prospect of love overcoming hatred is a mirage that fades even further beyond the horizon. Every phase of a child's life has been exploited by the PLO to implant hatred of Israel and Jews, and to inspire a yearning to die for the sake of destroying the enemy.
The PLO regime has raised a generation indoctrinated from infancy with the belief that the purpose and goal of
life is to die for the sake of destroying Israel. Else why would they be training cadet terrorists who will not
even reach the age for mass homicide for another decade? One video report cited two eleven-year-old girls
interviewed in the studio of PA TV. It is striking that their desire for death was expressed as a personal goal,
not related to the conflict with Israel. One girl was asked, 'What is better, peace and full rights for the
Palestinian people or shahada?' Replied the eleven year old, 'I will achieve my rights after becoming a
shahida'. What has caused this compelling desire for death among these children, a desire that conflicts with
the basic survival instinct of every human being? (A Time to Speak website 2003).
A representative of the Palestinian Children's Aid Association said in a television interview in 2003 that part of the educational policy was to teach children to aspire to death for Allah because 'The concept of shahada for (the child) meant belonging to the homeland, from a religious point of view. Sacrificing for his home, achieving shahada in order to reach Paradise, and meeting his God is the best (Wente 2003). In games and in conversations, the yearning to die for Allah is an integral component of the Palestinian child's world view.
In 2002 the Canadian Toronto Star reported that youngsters in the Balata refugee camp adjoining Nablus had replaced their once precious 'Pokeman' cards with a less innocent craze, necklaces with pictures of martyrs. "They are our idols," said one 14 year old. The 'hottest' item at that time was a pendant of an 18-year-old bomber who was the camp's first suicide bomber when he blew himself up, killing an eighteen-month-old Israeli baby and her grandmother in Petach Tikva. Teachers had grudgingly allowed students to wear their martyrs necklaces in class (Jerusalem Post, 6 June 2002).
In March 2004 a mentally retarded 16-year-old boy, Husan Abdu, was recruited by Fatah in Nablus to blow himself up at a busy Israeli checkpoint. Wearing a bomb belt under his heavy coat, he tried to run when apprehended by soldiers, and was disarmed. '"He said he had agreed to the suicide bombing in order to become famous he said he did not have friends in school, and expected to have endless sex in heaven" (Schecter 2004). His senders had relied on the 'compassion' of soldiers to let a boy through the checkpoint.
Palestinian children are thus victims of the PA's indoctrination and propaganda, often believing that their
death for Allah in war is the highest achievement attainable in life. This education is an indelible stain on Palestinian society, and places the Palestinian Authority among the greatest child abusers in history.
Death, power and religion are intertwined. "The message has not changed it is being dispensed in smaller doses. The ideology must change. Peace must be taught. Israel must be recognized in PA high schools and graduation ceremonies. Israel must appear on PA maps Hate education must be totally eradicated. A few more hours of Mickey Mouse (cartoons) just isn't going to be enough" (Itamar M. 2003).
In September 2002, in Ramallah an Israeli Defence Forces documentation team found posters glorifying
suicide attacks, armed struggle and leaders of the terrorist wing of Hamas. (Independent Media Review and Analysis). A report published in the Hizbollah weekly journal also exposed new evidence of children's
active involvement in the Jenin refugee camp in 2002. The children had confessed to their involvement in
the manufacturing of weapons, and to their participation in active warfare alongside armed terrorists. The children, taught from a young age to throw stones at IDF soldiers, had begun to replace stones and rocks with hand grenades and small explosive charges. One group of children assisted in the manufacturing of arms, a second group placed them strategically around an area specified by a senior terrorist operative, and a third group was instructed to set up ambushes at street corners carrying bags filled to the brim with explosives.
In one incident 'a child threw 50 explosive charges towards the IDF soldiers'. During the battle in Jenin in 2002 the sounds of explosions were heard all over the refugee camp area. The residents, upon hearing the explosions ran out of their houses in fear that the IDF was firing grenades, when in fact the explosions were charges being detonated by the militant children who had planted them there (IDF Briefing 2002).
Perhaps this is why 'children' are so often cited by the PA as 'casualties' or 'innocent victims of Israeli
aggression'. It may also help to understand why "there is a feeling that the Israeli soldiers are quicker on the trigger and are willing to employ more force against demonstrators than they did a decade ago because of the increased risk to their lives" (Shaviv 2002).
International human rights and international humanitarian law have long prohibited the recruitment and use of children under 15 years of age in hostilities. The PA too has endorsed international mechanisms that prohibit the use of children under the age of 18 in hostilities". But by October 2002 at least three suicide bombings had been carried out by children/persons under the age of eighteen, one in an orthodox
neighbourhood of Jerusalem in March 2002 (11 people killed and 50 wounded), another in a park in Rishon Lezion in May 2002 which killed two civilians and wounded 40, and one in central Jerusalem at a felafel stand in July 2002 where five civilians were wounded (HRW 2002).
In 2001 the BBC shot a film sequence about 'Paradise Camps' in which children as young as eight were
being taught military drills and about suicide bombers. Rallies commonly featured children wearing
bombers' belts. Fifth and sixth graders studied poems celebrating bombers.
In 2003 it was reported by the Arab media that the PA was running summer camps attended by thousands of children during which a dominant theme was shahid and suicide bomber adoration. Schools, sporting events, educational programs and institutions were named after them. In January 2002, a soccer tournament under the auspices of the PA Ministry of Education was named after the suicide bomber who murdered 30 civilians and wounded 140 during the Park Hotel Passover massacre in Netanya in 2002. A summer camp was named after the founder of Fatah Aksa Martyr's Brigade and children visited his home while at summer camp.
During one televised lecture by Dr Hassan Khader, founder of the Al-Quds Encyclopaedia, he quoted the prophet Mohammed as
having said " The (day of resurrection) will not arrive until you fight the Jews (until a Jew will hide behind a
rock or a tree) and the rock or the tree will say "O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me
come and kill him". This 'hadith', which elevates the murder of Jews to a mandatory religious obligation, has
been cited by PA leaders during the current conflict. (Marcus 2003). Dr Eyad el-Sarraj, the Director of the
Gaza Community Mental Health Program, warned in 2004 that children in the West Bank and Gaza now
dream of martyrdom or shahada "the way normal kids in the US dream of going to Disneyland" (Schecter
A Jihad Soccer Team originated in 1998 as the project and passion of an Islamic bookshop owner in Hebron. Members wore blue and white soccer jerseys with 'Al Jihad Prepare for Them' stenciled on them.
Beginning in 2002 six active players and one former member of the squad, including the player-coach,
carried out a wave of suicide attacks against Israel civilians. One blew himself up in a bus in central
Jerusalem killing 17 people. Other team members were killed in no-escape terror attacks, including one
against a couple who were at home eating their Sabbath meal. Even as its team members were dying off, the Jihad team continued playing soccer.
In May another soccer player boarded a bus in Jerusalem dressed in white prayer shawl and skullcap, symbols of Jewish prayer. He also wore an explosive belt. The blast he detonated killed seven people and wounded dozens more. The father of one of the teenage soccer team suicide bombers said later he never imagined that the club had been an incubator for suicide squads. Standing beside the ruins of his house in Hebron (reduced to rubble by Israel) he said "If I had realized what was happening I would have tied up my son with wire" (Hammer 2003).
During a Palestinian high school graduation ceremony in 2003 students chanted, "I am a Palestinian my weapon is the stone and the knife; Palestine will soon be restored. The stone and the knife will take the victory". This joyous anticipation of Israel's destruction through armed conflict was acted out to hundreds of parents and students and broadcast on Palestinian TV. This was but one example of the great disparities between what was so often reported in Israel's press about the Palestinian world and what was really happening, as seen via the window of the Palestinian media.
An Israeli newspaper, Ha-aretz, had claimed that changes had transpired in the Palestinian media. They said songs praising the shahids had been silenced and in their place was a new hit song the song of peace and freedom played on TV nearly around the clock.
While the PA did produce a single video clip song "Song of Peace and Freedom" it was broadcast exactly
once The few minutes of the peace song were completely overwhelmed by the continual broadcast of hate material albeit on a smaller scale" (Marcus I. 2003).
Young people have been urged by a relentless stream of propaganda to choose violent death. This poison was manufactured not by Islamic Jihad or Hamas but by the Palestinian Authority itself. It included TV news shows and newspaper articles which glorified murderers, sermons from extremist Imams, and a unique invention of Palestinian culture music videos celebrating suicide starring attractive boys and girls in western fashions and set to catchy music. These music videos have two themes. One is the wickedness and depravity of the Israelis. The other is the beauty of Shahada dying for Allah which is depicted as the supreme act of patriotism (Wente 2003).
In these videos Israelis are depicted as monsters cruel, sadistic people who murder mothers, children and helpless old men in cold blood. One video which ran on TV the entire summer of 2003 (after the PA had agreed to engage in the 'peace process') showed a mother who was alleged to have been targeted and murdered by Israeli soldiers. Her daughter mourns her death and sings sadly over her grave. In another, shot in a similarly gauzy, impressionistic style, soldiers shoot down Palestinian schoolchildren at a checkpoint in successive waves, until they are all dead. The last scene showed a graveyard where the ghostly children rise again, presumably to ascend to a sweet afterlife.
Other music videos show children riding off on their bicycles to throw stones at enemy soldiers and falling happily
to their deaths. 'Don't cry for me' they write in notes left for their parents (website of Palestinian Media
Watch http//www.pmw.org). These messages, which have been broadcast for years, are part of mainstream
Palestinian culture. Although most Palestinians are poor, almost every family has a TV. The music videos, it
is alleged, have been produced with money supplied by the European Union and other nations which
subsidize the PA.
Another common media message is that all of Israel, not just the 'occupied territories', really belongs to the Palestinians. Palestinian textbooks don't even show the state of Israel. The entire region is instead depicted as 'greater Palestine'. One music video did show a map of Israel, but over it there was a heart dripping with blood. Then, arms with stones sprouted from the ground, and in the final shot, the Palestinian flag covered the whole map. The death wish for the annihilation of Israel is another aspect of their cult of death. Fifth-grade textbooks depict dead children draped in a Palestinian flag with a poem to death: 'I hasten my steps towards it.. .this is the death of men, and who asks for a noble death, here it is.' It is hard to imagine another society in history that has so systematically attempted to brainwash its children into loving death and murder (Jerusalem Post Editorial, January 2003).
In the year 2000, two days after the PA began the Second Intifada, thousand of Israeli Arabs throughout
Galilee joined the battle on the side of Israel's enemies, supported locally by some leaders and passively by the general population. They threw stones, firebombs, burned tyres, killed an Israeli Jew, injured many others and closed down the main roads of the north of Israel for days. Israel, it seemed, had lost the allegiance of 20% of its citizens who in time of war sided with the enemy. While there were many
contributing factors, there is ample evidence that this transfer of allegiance was a primary goal of the PA
long before the start of the 2000 war (Marcus 2003).
The late Yasser Arafat's Office had a special unit, The Committee for Contacts with the Residents of
Occupied Palestine, a euphemism for Israeli Arabs. Twenty percent of Israel's population (1.2 million in
2005) is Arab, mostly Muslim. Then there are Druse and Bedouin. The Druse serve in the Israeli Defence
Forces (IDF), often achieving officer status, and also in the police force (the family of a Druse police officer who was killed in a Tel Aviv suicide bombing attack is interviewed in this report). The Bedouin also serve in the IDF and are renowned for their expertise as trackers. The PA was careful to send representatives to specific Israeli Arab events. For example, numerous graduation ceremonies in Jerusalem and the Galilee had no representative from the Israeli Ministry of Education but did have a PA representative.
At some eremonies the Palestinian anthem was played. Arab Israeli members of Knesset marched with Israeli Arab
youth waving PA flags. Their story was that if such young people lost their Palestinian identity, all that
would remain would be family and tribal ties. The PA initiated the process of 'de-Israelizing' Israel's Arabs
and sometimes found them willing partners. It happened openly, under the eyes of the Israeli government,
which did nothing to try to win the allegiance of its citizens (Marcus 2003).
On 24 June 2002, a 24-year-old Israeli Arab resident of Baka al-Gharbiya, which lies east of the coastal
town of Hadera, was arrested and interrogated. It emerged that he had been planning to drop four suicide bombers inside Israel. One bomber was to be dropped off at the Haifa cable car station, one at the Netanya beachfront promenade, one in Hadera and one on the Tel Aviv beachfront. It appeared that terrorist organizations were trying to take advantage of the mobility of Israeli Arabs inside the so-called 'Green line' (the line dividing Israel and the Palestinian areas before 1967) and their familiarity with the various characteristics of Israeli society in order to better carry out suicide attacks" (O'Sullivan 2002).
In November the same year, a would-be suicide bomber was captured near Ben Gurion International Airport on his way to
a major terrorist operation, and next morning police captured four Palestinians in an apartment in the Israeli
town of Lod, near the international airport. The four Palestinians were linked to the previous day's incident
Reuters reported on 31 July 2003 that 'Israel shut down an Israeli Arab summer camp Thursday after a
television report showed children enrolled there shouting "We want bombs" and supporting a Palestinian
uprising for independence. Israel's Channel Ten television showed elementary children marching to pro-
Palestinian chants of "Don't want flour, don't want sardines we want bombs".
But the establishment of the summer camp in the northern Israeli Arab town of Kabul had angered some residents, who had denounced the activities. That Muslim village in fact had hosted Jewish-Arab summer camps in the past, including children from Jewish communities in the area. The local Council Head said of the summer camp, 'I am against this and I denounce these activities completely. We don't want this sort of thing in Kabul. Some of these (organizers) are people from outside the village. We don't want them here and we don't want their activities, which besmirch the good name of the village and our residents. We are all citizens of the State (of Israel) and we have to live alongside one another in peace and harmony" (Rudge 2003).
In 2003 the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs examined the 'Palestine Children's Welfare Fund (PCWF) '.
The fund claimed to be a non-political, non-religious enterprise whose aspirations were purely humanitarian.
Some 250 individuals and organizations were listed as donors during the six months from January to June 2003. Over US$40,000 had been raised in five months from individuals and groups, including a Presbyterian Church in Texas and the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee. The PCWF had organized a children's drawing contest, awarding prizes to entries featuring fierce and violent hatred of Israel. The winning drawing was of a bonfire in the shape of a map of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with fire consuming the Star of David with the world 'Israel' written inside the map. Another entry depicted a Palestinian flag dropping flames on an Israeli flag and burning Israelis standing next to it.
The Jerusalem Centre For Public Affairs observed, "There is no 'humanitarian' justification for publishing drawings by small children depicting the burning of maps of the state of Israel (and) on the basis of this evidence, it could be concluded that the PCWF raises its funds on false premises, and that its activities are a far cry from the purely humanitarian mission claimed in its mission statement" (Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, 2003).
A number of so-called' charities' have been reported to have been channelling some of their funds to terrorist organizations and activities.
For example the U.S. based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development
was forcibly closed by the U.S. government back in December 2001 on the grounds that it was a Hamas
front organization. It reportedly listed revenues of $13 million on its tax return for the year 2000, and
allegedly channelled funds to Hamas through local charity committees in the West Bank and Gaza (Levitt,
"Charitable and Humanitarian Organizations in the Network of International Terrorist Financing", testimony
before the Subcommittee on International Trade and Finance, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban
Affairs, 1 August 2002). The U.S. government had argued that Hamas's charitable activities provided a
benign cover through which funds could be transferred from abroad to Hamas-controlled institutions.
Who is funding the bombers and their dispatchers? Who has rewarded the killing of civilians and how?
Shortly after the suicide attack at the French Hill junction in Jerusalem in 2001 that left seven Israelis dead, the late Yasser Arafat met with Fatah activist Mohamed Naifeh from Tulkarm giving him US$20.000 to be used for operations of Fatah's military wing (Harel A. ,2002).
In April 2002 documents captured in Arafat's compound in Ramallah showed a handwritten letter asking Arafat to allocate financial aid to three Fatah terrorists, including the suspected mastermind Zid Muhammed Daas, commander of a Tanzim terror cell in Tulkarm, who was believed to have been involved in the suicide bombing attack at the Bar Mitzvah ceremony in Hadera on 17 January 2002. (Two women who both lost their husbands in that bombing are interviewed in chapter seven of this report.) Scrawled on the bottom of the letter was the note 'Allocate $600 to each of them", with Arafat's signature. This document was shown to the international media during a briefing.
Then there was another document, a fax, sent to West Bank Tanzim leader Marwan Bargouti (now
in Israeli custody), who attached a note to forward to Arafat: "I request of you to order allocation of a
thousand dollars for each of the fighter brethren (12 Fatah activists)" (Da Fonseca-Wollheim & Kleinon,
Documents uncovered by the IDF in Ramallah showed Saudi support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad
'charities'. For example, documents showed payments to families of terrorists killed in attacks on Israel. An Israeli official said at the time that it was commonly believed the Saudis had curtailed their support (to extremist Islamic organizations) since the September 11 suicide attacks on New York. (Fifteen of the
terrorists involved in that attack, which killed nearly three thousand civilians, were Saudis.)
The documents found in Ramallah indicated Saudi Arabia had paid some $5000 each to the families of 102 terrorists killed
in attacks on Israel, but with some of the payments coming after September 11. According to the documents,
Saudi Arabia paid the family of a suicide bomber who carried out an attack in Afula in November 2002 in
which two civilians were killed and 46 wounded, and also paid the family of the terrorist who went on a
shooting spree in the coastal town of Hadera killing four people and wounding 31. One of these documents,
listing payments of some $545,000, included names of a number of high-profile terrorists, some killed by
Israel in targeted killings (Keinon, 2002).
Syria and Iran are the most important patrons of terrorist organizations that engage in suicide bombings. In 2006, it was reported that Iraq sent, sometimes through 'charitable societies', larger sums (initially $15,000 and later $25,000) to the families of suicide bombers (with a special certificate) than to those of ordinary shahids ($10,000) (CSS 2006).
In May 2002 the European Union's Head Office denied Israel's claims that millions of euros were being
spent on funding suicide bombers. An EU spokesman told reporters that the aid, which totalled 367 million euros over the previous two years, was being spent on civilian purposes only, and that the E.U. closely monitored where the money went and what it was used for. But Israeli Minister without portfolio Dan Naveh said at that time that ten million euros worth of EU aid was being 'used indirectly to finance terrorist acts'.
EU donations to the PA since the Oslo Accords have included demands for accountability and similar
demands were attached to the EU's direct budgetary assistance since the PA launched the Second Intifada in 2000. Even the Palestinian legislative council itself complained about lack of adequate monitoring. In
February 2003 it was reported that 170 members of the European Parliament had signed a petition to open a parliamentary investigation into the PA's use of EU funds.
In August 2004 a report was released entitled "Managing European Taxpayer's Money: Supporting
Palestinian Arabs A Study in Transparency". The report, by the Funding for Peace Coalition, highlighted
the utter failure of European organizations to monitor where their funds had been directed, and published evidence which substantiated a compelling connection between European funding and ongoing Palestinian corruption and terrorism.
The report documented dozens of disclosures, many from Arab sources and little
reported in Europe and the West. The report detailed theft, nepotism, and embezzlement on the part of the
PA, supported by incompetence and apathy on the part of the European agencies. It stated that since 1993
the European Union had contributed over 2 billion euros directly and indirectly to the Palestinian Authority.
Member states had donated a further 2 billion euros in the same period. Thus a total of 4 billion euros has
been poured into the PA in eleven years. European aid, said the report, had not reached its intended target the Palestinian people. It had been diverted towards graft, terrorism, and incitement to hatred.
Despite repeated denials from senior European politicians and civil servants, terrorists were on the payroll of the PA. This included in particular, members of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades who openly admitted their direct roles in acts of murder. The salaries of these murderers came directly from budgets provided by European government aid, even though the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have been officially classified as terrorists by Europe. The PA payroll had been found to be bloated with fictitious names or comprised of groups adjudged as terrorists by the EU itself. European taxpayers' funds had not been managed transparently in everything connected with aid to the PA and to the Palestinian people, said the report. The facts had been concealed and continued to be concealed from European taxpayers. The methods used to fund the PA might even be considered to be money laundering. The report assumed that providing aid to the Palestinian people was important and helpful to the cause of peace (Funding for Peace Coalition "Managing European Taxpayer's Money: Supporting the Palestinian Arabs A Study in Transparency" August 2004).
Back in 1996, Ambassador Philip Wilcox, then the Coordinator for Counter-terrorism in the U.S State
Department, said that Iran's assistance to Islamic Jihad was at that time some two million dollars per year (Human Rights Watch 2002).
In 1993, a IDF report stated that Hamas was receiving financial support from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Iran (IDF Spokesman 1993). In 2002, Human Rights Watch reported that "Syria provides safe haven as well as logistical support, and serves as a conduit for funds to several groups that perpetrate suicide attacks against civilians. Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the PFLP all have headquarters or a high level presence in Damascus" (Human Rights Watch 2002).
In September 2002, Syria reportedly rejected U.S. efforts to include specific mention of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a draft U.N. Security Council
resolution. Each had claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Israel the week before, which were to be
mentioned in the draft" (Preston. J. 2002).
Arab sources themselves reported, "Iran has been financing Islamic Jihad ever since its founding by
Hizbollah, whose budget exceeds US$ 200 million. In 2001, disagreement arose between those in charge of Hizbollah's finances and their Islamic Jihad counterpart, the latter demanding that its budget come directly to Islamic Jihad. At some point the separated budget was boosted by another 70% to cover the expense of recruiting young Palestinians for suicide operations" (Jerusalem Post, 2002, "The Arab Voice" Sources: London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al Aswat, Al Manar, Hizbollah TV channel broadcasting from Lebanon and London's A-Hayat newspaper, quoted in the Jerusalem Post, 19 June 2002: "Jubilant Jihad Warriors").
In 2002 Human Rights Watch reported that Iraq had expressly endorsed and encouraged suicide bombing
attacks against civilians. Arab sources claimed that families of suicide bombers received US$ 25,000, and
that Iraq had provided $20 million in aid to Palestinians since clashes began in September 2000, but it is not known what portion of that amount was provided to the families of suicide bombers. President Saddam Hussein had made it clear that (suicide) attacks must be considered the utmost act of martyrdom. A 'martyr' was generally defined as an individual who had been killed, disabled or imprisoned during the attacks (Nidal al-Mughrabi, 2002).
In 2002, an Australian reporter claimed that $15,000 payments were being made to
encourage more volunteers for suicide missions" (McGeough P, 2002).
In 2002 Human Rights Watch quoted Israeli officials' figure of $33,000 as going to families of suicide
bombers, made up of payments from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the PA and the United Arab Emirates (Human
Rights Watch 2002).
In 2002, Gaza-based psychiatrist and human rights activist Dr. Eyad el-Sarraj was
quoted as saying "as a Palestinian, as an Arab, as a Muslim, and as a human being I cannot leave their
children in poverty; I have to do what I can do to leave them some hope and dignity. This is why we support
the families certainly not to encourage suicide bombing". The report concluded that, "Under international
law, those who assist, aid or abet crimes against humanity are individually responsible for the resulting
crimes: Both governmental and private organizations have provided financial and logistical support to
groups responsible for suicide attacks against civilians. Others have given funds to groups that may have
been diverted to fund such activities; or, through the provision of large cash payments to perpetrators'
families, have rewarded those who carried out such attacks" (HRW 2002).
The Human Rights Watch report also quoted Israeli intelligence experts as saying that Hamas's annual
operational income topped at least $20 million dollars a year. It noted that in contrast to Hamas's complex and varied financial structure, Islamic Jihad was generally thought to derive almost all of its funding from state sponsors, particularly Iran. In addition, it noted that "according to the Israeli government, documents captured by the IDF in PA offices in April 2002, Islamic Jihad appears to have received 'massive financial aid from the group's headquarters in Damascus, but documents supporting this assertion had not been made public ...the transfers included financial assistance for the families of Islamic Jihad members in prison or killed, as well as support for Islamic Jihad's military operations. The al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades appear to have benefited from the routine misuse of PA funds. Arafat and other senior PA officials, as well as many rank-and-file Fatah members, have overlapping identities as employees or officials of the PA, on the one hand, and as members of Fatah on the other. This dual identity appears to have facilitated the use of PA resources to fund Fatah activities directly and indirectly, including payments to individual al-Aqsa Brigades activists" (Human Rights Watch 2002).
In contrast to the cost involved in supporting families of suicide bombers, a Saudi adviser to Prince
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia said on TV on 2 June 2004 that the financial cost of funding the 9/11 suicide
attack on New York had been around $500,000, and the cost of the June bombing in Riyadh the previous
year around $ 50,000.
Rifat, aged 25, was given a 15-kilogram explosives belt by the Ramallah cell of the Palestinian Islamist
group. That same day he was smuggled into Tel Aviv where he made his way to the seaside Cafe Tayelet. At the entrance a security guard got suspicious and the would-be bomber fled the scene. Interviewed in prison, he said, 'I listened to the Muslim preachers on television. They were my main authority' (Schecter 2004).
In 2002, the Middle East Media Research Unit (MEMRI) had quoted a Muslim cleric as saying 'Muslims
must...educate their children to Jihad. This is the greatest benefit of the situation: educating their children to Jihad and to hatred of the Jews, the Christians, and the infidels." Palestinian religious leaders have been a driving force, through their religion classes and televised sermons, in calling for Palestinians to kill Jews, especially through suicide bombings. In 2003, an Imam in a Saudi mosque was heard asking for 'God to purify Jerusalem from the footprint of the Jews' The US State Department had sent employees to five mosques with strong ties to the government to find out what was really going on inside Saudi mosques. Two of the five mosques called for the 'destruction of Americans', four called for ' destruction of the Jews' (Jewish World Review 2003).
President George W. Bush said that Islam inspires countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity
and morality (12 May, 2002), it is a faith based on love, not hate (9 October 2002) and it teaches the value and importance of charity, mercy and peace (11 May 2001). But, "in the suicide attack on 9/11 when the Twin Towers crashed to the ground killing nearly 3000 civilians, it was reported that some Muslims in New York danced in the street, laughing, shouting to each other and shaking hands... (while as American citizens they were free to express their judgement) they were also the followers of Islam, religion of oppression, violence, terror, war , superstition, intolerance and prejudice. ...the Koran states ' Kill the disbelievers, wherever we find them (2:191), 'Strike off the heads of the disbelievers (make a) wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives (947:4) ... It is not by accident that (militant Muslims) call the coalition forces in Iraq the Crusaders. To Islam, the war which they lost centuries ago continues. The enemy is modernity itself and the forces of change that have made them irrelevant. Muslims, married to a failed past, offer little hope for integration into modern society. Israel giving them land to which they are not entitled or the United States punishing them for criminal acts will not assuage their rage. Historically, use of strength, swift and certain punishment, and resolve of purpose are all that is left to us to effectively deal with their primitive madness" (Mason J & Felder R, 2004).
It is said that Islam prohibits the killing of non-combatants (e.g. women, children, monks) so tactics and
weapons that killed indiscriminately were prohibited or, at the very least, frowned on. Women were to be
protected in war because, in the seventh century, they were not seen as potential combatants (Ebrahim
Moosa, Professor of Islamic Thought, Duke University).
Obviously, that is no longer the case. The Organization of Islamic countries has an Islamic Law Committee but its rulings are not mandatory on member states (Schecter, 2003). Suicide bombing has been condemned by a prominent Indian Muslim scholar and a former grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. By contrast, Muhammad Sayad Tantawi, head of Egypt's venerable al-University of Qatar, lauded suicide bombing as 'the weapon of the wretched weak in the face of powerful tyrants'.
However, the Koran is clear in its opposition to suicide. In An-Nisa 4:29 it states, 'O you
who believe. Do not consume your wealth in the wrong way rather only through trade mutually agreed on,
and do not kill yourselves'. In the compilation of the ninth century scholar, Sahih Bukhari, the stated
punishment for suicide is the endless repetition of the fatal act in hell. So, instead of enjoying the company
of 72 dark-eyed virgins, the suicide bomber in our imaginary scenario would spend eternity being repeatedly
torn apart (Schecter, 2003).
In 1997 the PA-appointed grand mufti in Jerusalem said, "The person who sacrifices his life as a Muslim
will know if God accepts it and whether it is for the right reason., the measure is whether the person is doing that for his own purposes or for Islam". But, at an interfaith dialogue conference at the University of Malaysia in 1997, sociologist Syed Hussein al-Attas noted that at least the Japanese Kamikaze pilots of World War II attacked enemy warships. 'How does anyone justify throwing a bomb into a bus filled with people who are non-belligerent, let alone kill oneself in the process?' he asked.
At a European conference in July 2003, a dean of Qatar University cited both necessity and the justice of the Palestinian cause in defending the killing of civilians. He also went on to argue that in modern war there are no longer any innocents, since all of (Israeli) society is mobilized behind the effort an argument that would apply equally to the Palestinians. He placed all Israelis in the category of 'ahl al-kital' or 'men of war' or unarmed irregulars. His regular sermons were beamed by the al-Jazeera television network to 45 million viewers, who have only the faintest notion of Israeli society (Schecter E. 2003).
In February 2003, far away from international media centres, in the capital of the newly independent Muslim Republic of Kazakhstan, representatives of six Muslim nations, including three presidents and three foreign ministers, convened to condemn militant Islam, showcase their moderation, and encourage greater interaction with the West. Also present at that International Conference on Peace and Accord was the invited delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The six countries included Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Afghanistan. The Afghani delegate said "Terror must be rooted out at its source and sadly that source has been my country. Terrorism has destroyed Afghanistan more than any other place. We know what intolerance means. We have a ruined country to show for it".
A US delegate pointed out at the same conference that "Eighty percent of the Muslim world are non-Arabs. They live in countries like Indonesia, where militant Islam is dangerous but marginal, in India where they are a minority in a democratic country; in north Africa where they are still living at the subsistence level; and in the Central Asian Republics where they are enjoying a large measure of freedom and are reaching out a hand of friendship to the West".
Unlike their neighbouring Muslim states of the Arab world, the central Asian states have large non-Muslim minorities, their populations are largely secular, highly educated and recently freed from the Soviet yoke. The Caspian basin (near the Caspian Sea) is the site of the greatest oil rush in history. Combined oil and natural gas value of the finds in the Central Asian republics is estimated at up to US$10 trillion. In Kazakhstan nearly 45% of the country's 16 million citizens are non-Muslim, including about 30,000 Jews. In early 2003 there were said to be 20 synagogues being built across the country, paid for by the state. The government was helping Jewish schools and providing security to Jewish institutions. Another American delegate said that those countries presented the opportunity to provide living proof that moderate Islamic societies are able to produce real social and political development (Rose 2003).
The P.A. has routinely condemned suicide bombings against civilians largely for the benefit of the
international press (Myre, 2002). On 19 June 2002, a Masters student from Al-Najah University in Nablus
exploded himself at Jerusalem's Patt-Gilo junction, killing 19 Israeli civilians and wounding 70 others.
Afterwards a full-page petition/ advertisement appeared in the leading daily Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper.
The petition/advertisement said that such attacks would never lead the Palestinians to their goal of
independence, but would only increase the number of countries supporting the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people. Fifty-five Palestinian academics and public figures signed the petition asking those who stood behind the attacks on civilians inside Israel to reevaluate their positions and the results of their actions.
Though hundreds subsequently added their names to the petition, Palestinians downplayed its potential,
declaring the signatories to be respected individuals with no influence. Israelis criticized the language of the petition that made no reference to questions of morality or terrorism. The targeting of children and old people was only mentioned in the context of 'Israeli aggression' against Palestinian towns and villages (Kershner, 2002).
In August 2002, Human Rights Watch had urged Palestinian factions to "immediately stop all attacks on
civilians, as international humanitarian law explicitly prohibits reprisals against civilians" (Human Rights
Watch 2002). They made the appeal after a particularly bloody weekend in which multiple shooting and
bomb attacks had killed at least 13 civilians and wounded scores of others. These included a bus bombing in northern Israel, and the bombing at the Hebrew University cafeteria which killed seven students and wounded 80. Hamas said the attacks were in retaliation for an Israeli air strike on Gaza City in which 15 people were killed, including a Hamas military leader.
Hamas has carried out the largest number of suicide bombings of all the Palestinian terrorist organizations: 58 attacks, or about 40% of the total. The various Fatah factions have carried out 33 (23%) of the total (CSS 2006). By targeting public places, suicide bombings affect all sectors of Israeli society, Jews, and foreign workers. Their target is everyday life. The bombings also kill and wound Israeli Arabs. For example, fifteen of twenty-nine people wounded in a suicide bombing which blew apart a bus near Umm al-Fahm near the coastal town of Hadera were Arab Israelis.
The 2002 Human Rights Watch report concluded that" High-ranking PA officials, including President Arafat, had failed in their duty to administer justice and enforce the rule of law in compliance with international standards. Through their repeated failure to arrest or prosecute individuals alleged to have planned or carried out suicide attacks against civilians, they contributed a climate of impunity, and failed to prevent the bloody consequences". The actions and disregard by suicide bombers for basic human rights has tainted and undermined the wider struggle for Palestinian human rights (HRW 2002).
By early 2005, there was much pressure on Israel to release Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. The problem is that previous
released prisoners have returned to attacking Israeli civilians. "In May 1985 in the 'Jibril Deal', more than
1000 prisoners were released; of 238 prisoners released to the West Bank and Gaza, 48% or 114, resumed
their terror activities" (Dudkevitch 2005). The release of prisoners with the blood of suicide bombings on
their hands cannot be considered for reasons of justice and morality.
The tsunami-like suicidal waves did not subside. The immorality and cruelty of suicide bombing attacks
against unarmed civilians spread like an evil virus, and seems to have become 'mainstreamed' into the
contemporary world. The uncontrolled 'downstream spending' of organizations and countries that supported the PA and terrorists organizations could also be precisely what funded suicide bombings. The streams which have flowed changed from money to the blood of Israeli civilians.
When Osma Bin Laden's cache of audio-cassettes and CDs were discovered in an underground hideout in
eastern Afghanistan in 2001, they included a video which showed in detail the beheading with a knife of a hostage in Chechnya and a prisoner being tortured with a sizzling piece of metal. Another close-up showed a victim's tongue actually being cut out. This type of savage barbarity has been enacted during the past three years in many locations. In Pakistan the American journalist Nick Berg was beheaded. In Iraq graphic video footage showed twelve bound Nepali hostages being shot at close quarters. Another video showed the beheading of yet another American hostage.
"Small cruelties are perhaps comprehensible; large ones are not. The gargantuan cruelty that characterizes this very hour is perhaps the most incomprehensible of all: the malevolent frenzy of fanatical spite that undertakes to turn young men and women, some barely past childhood, into self-detonating bombs. Two societies appear to accept this: on the one hand, the Palestinian Arabs and Muslim nations in general, who celebrate suicide for the purpose of raw murder; and, on the other hand, the West the civilized, humanitarian, psychoanalytical West which, by giving false answers to spurious questions, effectively ratifies, with scarcely a murmur, the radical reinvention of savagery in our time.
Suicide bombing is incomprehensible because it goes against nature. It is unnatural for human parents, however ideologically brainwashed, to endure let alone to favour the destruction of a child. Yet, as all the world has seen, there are Palestinian mothers who not only laud the self-shattering of a child, but lay their hands fondly on the head of another, piously hoping he will be the next murderer. Not even the vanity of communal prestige, not even insidious greed the sure knowledge of a reward of thousands of dollars from Iraq and Saudi Arabia can account for this perversion of nature. As for the suicide bombers themselves, nature intends its cry for continuity of life to beat persistently and invulnerably, especially in the pulse of the young.
It is all beyond nature and beyond understanding, like any madness. But it is not the madness of individuals alone. It is the
madness, the corrupting socialization of a people that has adopted both self-destruction and gratuitous killing
as its credo. It is a metaphysical movement. It is Moloch masking as Allah" (Ozick 2002).
The intensity of the suicide bombings in 2002 prompted some of the most eloquent writings, analyses and comments. An article on the website of Channel NewsAsia in 2003 predicted, "Suicide bombing is such an abominable act that every time it occurs, it fills us with so much revulsion that only the horror remains. The cause and origin of the conflict get increasingly obscured" (Tsering Bhallah, 2003). From 2003 to 2004, even though the suicidal bombing waves continued, less was written about suicide bombings in Israel, as if the ongoing suicide bombings were to be expected and were hardly newsworthy.
Attention had turned to other horrors and crimes against humanity, such as the suicide attackers in the Moscow theatre siege, the
regular suicide car bombing atrocities in Iraq, and particularly the massacre of children by suicide attackers
in a school in Beslan. If the latter cannot act as a wake-up call to the world what will? Can the cruel and
twisted psychology of the terrorists and suicide bombers be allowed to continue?
The eyes of the suicide bombers the bombs with eyes. The eyes of fanatical hatred. The eyes which look at you as they detonate. Sometimes they are even smiling.
Posters have been made in Israel during the past four years portraying hundreds effaces of victims of suicide bombers. Most of them are smiling the family photos provided by those who grieve their passing. That is perhaps how they would prefer to remember them. There are no pictures of faces blown apart by the bombers, or babies with bullet holes in their foreheads. Or faces burned from the force of the bomb blasts and searing flames. Or eyes filled with the irreparable loss of a child they will not see grow up, or a spouse who will be absent from the remainder of their lives.
When the survivors and families of victims were
interviewed for this project no photos were taken of their faces. The expressions of their eyes were often
fleeting, and very private. Such photos would have shown eyes still full of pain in wounded bodies still
trying to heal; eyes scarred by memories of carnage in a bus or cafe; eyes now
sightless from flying shrapnel. These are the faces which find it hard to smile. It is those eyes, the windows of the soul, which tell
the story of the real consequences of suicide bombings against civilians.
This whole book was arduously researched and written over four years in response to the outrageous bombing of the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem on on the afternoon of 9 August 2001. The popular restaurant was filled with families and children enjoying their pizzas.
A 20-year-old young Arab woman, Ahlam Tamimi, carrying a camera to pass as
a tourist, entered the restaurant ahead of her guitar-carrying male colleague Abdallah Jamal Barghouti. What they had
in mind was far from music or joyfulness - but massacre and mayhem. Inside the guitar case were explosives, prepared by Hamas 'operatives'. Along with explosives they had placed metal screws and nails to magnify the devastation.
When the guitar-case bomb exploded fifteen people were killed - and 130 wounded. The bombers' relatives honouredtheir son by week after the massacre by distributing sweets and praising him publicly. Six weeks later a triumphant exhibit at Al Najah University in the West Bank featuured a mock-up of the Sbarro restaurant including chewed pizza crusts and bloody plastic body parts suspended from the ceilinjg as if they were blasting through the air.
Just four years
ago in 2005, hundreds of students attended a Hamas rally at Bir Zeit University where they called for more suicide attacks.
"Oh suicide bomber, wrap yourself withy an explosive belt and fill the scene with blood".
At the end of 2009 what do we find? We hear that Tamimi is among those terrorists considered for release as pass of a swap for the release of Kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Yes, she survived because she escaped from the Sbarro massacre scene. Her imprisonment in Israel has included, 'comfortable conditions that Israel lavishes on female prisoners, including freedom to dress in clothes of her choice, opportunities to grant interviews to writers and documentary film-maker, freedom of religious practice, etc etc. During filming, as she was informed that the number of children she had murdered was higher than she herself had presumed, she smiled with pleasure into the camera.
At the time of writing it is unclear whether the Israeli government will commit the unpardonable crime against humanity of releasing Tamimi.
The Sbarro bombing killed and maimed unarmed civilians. A young mother was wounded so badly that she remains in coma -until now - (as of Dec 2009)
Has the world learned nothing since 2001? Do television viewers , bored with the regularity of horrific suicide attacks around the world, avoid the cowardly and superficial shots of the carnage by turning over to the sports channel?
Apparently the suicide bombers are still smiling, WHEREVER they have detonated --Madrid, London, Iraq
Afghanistan, Turkey. This book is about civilian casualties. All around the world civilian casualties have increased dramatically. Until the extremist ideologies are dealt with it will be hard to wipe the smiles off their faces. the 'virus' of extremist ideologies continues to expand, reaching more 'parts of the world body'. What will it take to erase this spiritual and psychological cancer?
Why does the world remain so silent over the targeting of unarmed civilians........ wherever they may be? Get out there, cowards, and interview the survivors and families of victims so that YOU can hear their own narratives (if they can still speak, and look hard at the electronic images of the dozens of metal balls and pieces of shrapnel - STILL embedded in survivor's bodies. Yes, it does still hurt when they walk.
Home | Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | References | Acknowledgements | Glossary | Questionnaires |