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

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy