Twenty Years after a Notorious Terrorist Attack, the Perpetrators Are Still Cashing In

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem—one of the second intifada’s most brutal acts of terror, which left fifteen dead and 130 wounded. While the attack—like the scores of other such bombings in those years—did nothing to improve the lot of the Palestinians, or to aid in the creation of a Palestinian state, it proved quite lucrative for the attackers. Maurice Hirsch explains:

By now, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has paid Abdullah Barghouti, the terrorist who built the bomb and is responsible for the murder of 67 people in various attacks, a cumulative sum of $285,571. Every month, the PA pays him a salary of $2,255. In addition, the PA has paid the family of the suicide bomber $68,498. Every month the PA continues to pay his family an allowance of $432. The minimum wage in the PA is $44 a month.

The monthly PA salary payments to the imprisoned terrorists are not just a whim. Rather, they are codified in the PA Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners, No. 19 of 2004 and regulations promulgated pursuant to the law.

As for Ahlam Tamimi, who planned the bombing, she lives in Jordan where she hosts a television program. In March, Interpol revoked the warrant for her arrest. She remains unrepentant:

[In 2011], Tamimi was interviewed on Israeli Channel 1. . . . After explaining that she was the one who chose the target of the attack, Tamimi was asked if she knew how many children had been killed in the attack. When she heard that eight children had been murdered, Tamimi broke into a huge smile.

In a subsequent interview, she told a Jordanian journalist:

I don’t regret what happened, absolutely not. That is the path; I give myself for the sake of Allah, to jihad for Allah. I carried out [my mission] and Allah made me successful. You know the number of victims who were killed. All that was thanks to the success from Allah.

Read more at Palestinian Media Watch

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada


Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict