The Woman behind a Notorious Suicide Bombing Walks Free. Will America See That She Is Punished?

On August 9, 2001, Ahlam Tamimi and Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri traveled from the West Bank to Jerusalem, where Masri detonated himself in a Sbarro’s pizzeria, killing seven children and eight adults, and injuring scores. When the two passed through an Israeli checkpoint earlier that day, they appeared to be a young couple; had Masri been alone, police almost certainly would have stopped him and discovered the deadly bomb in his guitar case. Tamimi was arrested shortly thereafter and sentenced to life in prison. Ten years later, she was among the 1,027 Palestinian prisoners exchanged for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. She now resides in Jordan.

Drawing on an interview with Frimet and Arnold Roth, whose daughter Malki was among Tamimi’s victims, David Horovitz recounts their ongoing struggle for justice:

The judges put on the record their recommendation that she never be released, [but] Tamimi—the woman who scouted the location for the attack, escorted the suicide bomber to ensure the atrocity went ahead, and speaks of the bombing as “my operation”—has thrived, has been allowed to thrive. She has been able to marry [her cousin, who murdered a young Israeli in 1993], to talk of starting a family, and to become something of a celebrity on the strength of her murderous exploits, while expressing regret only that more people were not killed. She cast their lives into darkness. But hers has been bright.

She traveled widely and often within Jordan and to numerous Arab countries—including repeat visits to Algeria, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Tunisia, and Yemen—speaking to school and university groups, trade unions, and on TV—boasting of her central role in the massacre, of the high death toll and of her intention to kill Jewish children, preferably religiously observant.

Arnold would argue that governments that seek to defeat terrorism must refuse to release convicted terrorists from prisons since this emboldens them and their colleagues. By nurturing the belief that their demands are likely to be met in the future, he would argue, you encourage terrorist blackmail of the very kind that you want to stop. Only the most unrelenting refusal ever to give in to such blackmail can prevent this.

The Roths have used Malki’s American citizenship to lobby the government to bring Tamimi to the U.S.—which has an extradition treaty with Jordan—for trial. While Washington has been slow to act, last year Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania succeeded in passing legislation that would deny aid to countries like Jordan that refuse to extradite residents indicted for severe criminal offenses:

Along with the simple principle of justice, Congressman Perry . . . raised another central point when considering the balance between pushing Jordan hard for Tamimi’s extradition and preserving Jordan’s internal stability: the imperative that neither Jordan, nor any other country for that matter, be permitted to turn itself into a safe haven for terrorists.

What will come of the new law remains to be seen.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Jordan, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada, U.S. Foreign policy


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security