February 4, 2014 Special Dispatch No. 5633

At Bethlehem Funeral For Suicide Bombers: Praise For Bombers, Calls For Continuing The Resistance

February 4, 2014
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 5633

On February 2, 2014, Israel transferred the bodies of two suicide bombers, Ayat Al-Akhras and Daoud Abu Sway, to the Palestinians. Al-Akhras, a 17-year-old member of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, had carried out a March 2002 suicide bombing outside a supermarket in Jerusalem's Kiryat HaYovel neighborhood, killing three, and Abu Sway, a member of the Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades, had done the same in December 2001 near the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, wounding several.

In the funeral procession, held in Bethlehem, the two coffins were carried by Palestinians in military uniforms. The thousands in attendance called for "resistance against the occupation," for ending negotiations with Israel, and for Palestinian unity.[1]

It should be mentioned that in reports on Al-Akhras' attack, the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida referred to Kiryat HaYovel as a "settlement."[2]

The funeral was attended by several Palestinian Authority officials, among them Fatah official Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, Bethlehem Mufti 'Abd Al-Majid 'Ata, and Institute for Families of the Martyrs and Wounded director Yusuf Abu Laban. During the proceedings, Al-Tirawi said: "Israelis must understand that our people will continue to raise the banner of resistance until the achievement of our legitimate goals: liberation and independence."

The Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam stated, "Al-Tirawi praised the sacrifice of the martyr Al-Akhras, the martyr Abu Sway, and the martyrs of Palestine."[3] Bethlehem Mufti 'Abd Al-Majid 'Ata stressed that "Allah chose the martyrs to stand at His side, because they are the most respectable of all. They gave their lives for us and for the defense of their cause and homeland."[4]

In a post-funeral ceremony marking the anniversary of Fatah's establishment, Abu Laban said: "Fatah's sons will not allow the replacement of the compass that never deviates. The school of [Fatah] fighters is fulfilling the testament of the martyrs, represented by the braid of the martyr Ayat Al-Akhras, whom we buried today. [She] stressed the need to continue the preservation of the promise of the rifle."[5]

It is notable that some Palestinian media outlets portrayed Al-Akhras as a bride and Abu Sway as a groom being led to a wedding, since according to Islamic tradition, a martyr is wedded to 72 black-eyed virgins. This tradition is based, inter alia, on the Koranic verses: "Indeed, the righteous will be in a secure place; Within gardens and springs, Wearing [garments of] fine silk and brocade, facing each other. Thus it will be. And we will marry them to fair women with large, [beautiful] eyes." [Koran 44:51-54]

A message posted on the Facebook page for Fatah in Dheisheh prior to the arrival of Al-Akhras' coffin stated: "Only a few hours separate us and our meeting and reception of the princess of martyrs, the bride of the Dheisheh refugee camp and of Palestine, Ayat Al-Akhras."[6] A Ma'an News Agency article also described Al-Akhras as a bride and Abu Sway as a groom.[7]

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade poster of Ayat Al-Akhras. Text reads: "We will lead the bride of Palestine, the daughter of the brigades, who gave her life, Ayat Al-Akhras." (Source: Fatah in Dheisheh Facebok page, February 2, 2014)


[1] Al-Quds (Jerusalem),, February 3, 2014.

[2] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), February 4, 2014.

[3] Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority), February 4, 2014.

[4] Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority), February 2, 2014.

[5], February 3, 2014.

[6], February 2, 2014.

[7], February 3, 2014.

Share this Report: