I often write about Hamas and how hateful (in both senses) they are. But I want to make it concrete today.
Exactly nine years ago tomorrow, by the Jewish calendar, a Hamas suicide bomber detonated a massive blast at the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem. One of the fifteen murdered (130 were hurt) was 15-year old Malka ‘Malki’ Chana Roth. Malki’s family has established a foundation in her name, to assist families with special needs children.
Is it necessary for me to point out the difference between a culture that responds in this way to the one that still considers the Sbarro bombing one of their finest moments?
There is a well-documented account of the bombing on the foundation’s site. This is a slightly edited version:
9th August 2001: A resident of the village of Aqaba, north of Tulkarm, Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri, single and 23 (by some accounts 22), son of a well-to-do land-owning family, entered the busy Sbarro restaurant at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road at lunchtime on a school vacation day in Jerusalem. The restaurant was filled with customers, most of them children and mothers. … eventually it was clear that 15 Jews (picture) were killed; one remains unconscious four years later, and 130 were injured in various serious degrees…
It’s been suggested at various times that al-Masri’s family were opposed to, or even horrified by, their son’s murderous actions. But a Palestinian Authority official source, quoted by the unimpeachable MEMRI, reports that Hamas official Ashraf Sawaftah, speaking publicly a week after the massacre of a ceremony honoring the bomber, said this: “His relatives distributed sweets and accepted their son as a bridegroom married to ‘the black-eyed,’ not as someone who had been killed and was being laid in the ground.”
The Sbarro massacre was coordinated and planned by the Hamas terror organization’s Ramallah branch. Six weeks later, a triumphal exhibit at [An-Najah] University, the largest in the West Bank, featured a mock-up of the Sbarro restaurant including gnawed pizza crusts and bloody plastic body parts suspended from the ceiling as if they were blasting through the air. See the New York Times report (PDF version) and this video record of the event.
Hamas, which today rules Gaza with an iron and bloody fist, published a particularly dishonest, self-delusional account here.
The explosive charge was manufactured by Abdallah Jamal Barghouti, the chief “engineer” of the Hamas infrastructure in the Judea region. The bomb, along with screws and nails to magnify the devastation, was assembled inside a guitar case which Al-Masri carried. Barghouti is a Kuwaiti who settled in the West Bank village of Burqa in 1999. He has been frequently described in the media – and from his own mouth – as the brains behind the massacre.
At his trial, evidence was produced to show that Barghouti’s relative Marwan Barghouti – a prominent Palestinian Arab political figure now serving several life sentences for murder – paid Abdallah $500 to build the bomb. This came on top of the $117,000 he received for his troubles from Hamas, according to evidence given to the court in Abdallah Barghouti’s multi-murder trial.
Others were involved in providing funds – large sums of cash – for the terrorists themselves and for their families. A 2005 news article “Hamas Financier Detained” describes the involvement of Hamas ‘activist’ Ahmad Saltana [PDF version here] in the financing of the terrorist murders.
The human bomb’s guide was Ahlam ‘Aref Ahmad al-Tamimi, also known as Ahlam Tamimi, a 20-year-old innocent-faced Jordanian national who lived in Ramallah, studied in Bir Zeit, and worked as a journalist. Tamimi was involved in gathering the intelligence for the attack and on the day of the massacre, along with the suicide bomber and the charge hidden inside the guitar, she headed for a taxi-cab station in Ramallah, where they took a taxi to Jerusalem.
Tamimi carried a camera and spoke with the suicide bomber in English so that they could inconspicuously pass for tourists. She was arrested on 14th September 2001. For her part, Tamimi was sentenced to sixteen life terms, or 320 years, in an Israeli jail (report and report). She was the first woman to have been recruited by Hamas’ Izzadine el-Qassam gang. She has never expressed remorse of any sort.
A 2006 report quotes Tamimi saying from an Israeli jail cell: “I’m not sorry for what I did. We’ll become free from the occupation and then I will be free from prison.”
For some additional, deeply disturbing, background about this female, see “The Real Ahlam Tamimi You Didn’t Read About In The Times” by Noah Pollak (published 3rd August 2007).
Another co-conspirator was Mohammad Daghlas, a “student” who delivered the bomb that was used in the massacre. He is now in an Israeli jail.
Abdallah Barghouti‘s counsel said Barghouti felt “his actions were legal as part of the game Israel is playing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip”. Barghouti himself pleaded guilty and told the court he “did this to kill as many Israelis as possible”. He was rewarded in December 2004 with a sentence of 67 life-terms in an Israeli prison (report). In a later interview, he said: “I do not accept responsibility for their deaths. I feel pain, of course. They are little children. But the government of Israel is solely responsible.”
Interviewed in April 2006 by CBS’ television program “60 Minutes”, Abdallah Barghouti said of the death toll in the Sbarro massacre and the other bombings he engineered: “”I feel bad because the number is only 66.”
By the way, among the 1,000 (or 1,500 — it changes) prisoners that Hamas is demanding that Israel release in exchange for the kidnapped Gilad Shalit, we find the Barghoutis and Tamimi.
This is only a single story. There are hundreds of similar stories in which families are torn apart because children, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, etc. have been brutally and deliberately murdered by Hamas terrorists because they dare to be Jews living in the land of Israel.
The Hamas covenant says:
“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him…
The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day…
There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad…
In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.
There is no room for even-handedness with respect to Hamas. Just ask Malki’s parents, or any of the other families of Hamas victims. But don’t ask Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, leader of the effort to build a mosque two blocks from the destroyed World Trade Center:
Asked if he agreed with the State Department’s assessment [that Hamas is a terrorist organization], Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf told WABC radio, “Look, I’m not a politician.”
“The issue of terrorism is a very complex question,” he told interviewer Aaron Klein. “There was an attempt in the ’90s to have the UN define what terrorism is and say who was a terrorist. There was no ability to get agreement on that.”
Asked again for his opinion on Hamas, an exasperated Rauf wouldn’t budge.
“I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy,” Rauf said, insisting that he wants to see peace in Israel between Jews and Arabs. — NY Post