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memri
March 10, 2016 No.
6344

On International Women's Day, Palestinian 'Al-Quds' Daily Lionizes Terrorists As Paragons Of Palestinian Womanhood

On the occasion of International Women's Day, the Jerusalem-based Palestinian daily Al-Quds posted an article titled "Pioneers in Fighting, Struggle and Social Activism: Palestinian Women Took Part In Making History." The article features short biographies of 16 Palestinian women, several of whom are terrorists, including Dalal Al-Mughrabi, Fatima Bernawi and Leila Khaled. Also featured is Umaya Juha, known for her inciting cartoons. The article presents terrorist attacks as laudable acts of bravery and self-sacrifice.

 
The article on a page of the paper devoted to International Women's Day

The following are details on several of the women featured in the article, and a translation of the article's description of them.[1]

Dalal Al-Mughrabi

Dalal Al-Mughrabi was deputy-commander of the deadly March 1978 Coastal Road attack on an Israeli bus in which 35 civilians were killed, including 13 children and teenagers, and 71 people were wounded. Describing her, the article says: "[Al-Mughrabi is] one of the most famous Palestinian fighters. She was born in 1958 in a refugee camp in Beirut, to a family from Jaffa that had fled to Lebanon after 1948. She joined the ranks of the Palestinian revolution at an early stage and took several military courses and lessons in guerilla fighting and in the use of weapons. She was deeply affected by the 1973 assassination of the three leaders, Kamal 'Adwan, Kamal Nasser and Abu Yousuf Al-Najjar [senior Fatah operatives killed by the IDF], which caused her to take part in Operation Kamal 'Adwan, planned by Khalil Al-Wazir [i.e., the Coastal Road attack]. On November 3, 1978, Dalal and other members of her [fighter] cell came to Tel Aviv and took over a bus of Israeli soldiers. A battle [then] took place between the [Palestinian] fighters and the soldiers, in which many Israeli soldiers were killed and wounded, and after Ehud Barak ordered to stop the bus and kill the fighters, Dalal blew up the bus and all the passengers."[2]   

Fatima Bernawi

Fatima Bernawi was sentenced to life in prison for planting a bomb in 1967 in the Zion Cinema in Jerusalem, but was released after a decade. She is considered the first Fatah prisoner. In 2015 PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas awarded her a military medal of honor.[3] The article says of her: "One of the Palestinian pioneers who took up the activity of armed self-sacrifice [operations] after the modern Palestinian revolution began in 1965. She was also the first Palestinian prisoner to appear in the official records of the women's movement of the modern Palestinian revolution. She was born in Jerusalem in 1939 and founded the Palestinian women's police force in 1994. She was arrested in 1967 after placing a bomb in Zion Cinema in Jerusalem and sentenced to life in prison, but she remained incarcerated for only 10 years [and was released] in what the Israeli Prison Service called a gesture [of goodwill] to the Egyptians. She was deported [to Lebanon but] continued on the path of struggle after her release."

Zakia Shammout

Zakia Shammout carried out several terrorist operations in the 1960s and 1970s, in which dozens were killed and wounded. She was given 12 life sentences but was released in a prisoner exchange deal. The article says of her: "One of the first fighters to carry out operations against the occupation, and the first Palestinian woman to give birth in an Israeli prison. She was born in Haifa in 1945 and joined the sacrifice activity in 1968. She carried out seven operations, but in the early 1970s she was arrested with her husband while she was five months pregnant, and given 12 life sentences. On February 18, 1972 she gave birth to her daughter Nadia in the Israeli Neve Tirza prison in Ramla. In 1983 she was released and deported to Algeria. She died in 2014."

Leila Khaled

Leila Khaled is a senior activist in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and a member of the Palestinian National Council. In 1969 she participated in the hijacking and of a TWA airliner. The operation did not result in casualties, though the plane was blown up. A year later Khaled took part in the attempted hijacking of an El Al airliner. Her bio in the article says: "The first woman to hijack an Israeli plane, in 1969. She was born in Haifa in 1944. She hijacked an airliner and diverted it from its course, flying it to Syria, in order to bring about the release of Palestinian prisoners and bring the Palestinian problem to the attention of the world. She also hijacked a TWA airliner that was landed in London. She was caught and arrested by the Scotland Yard, and the British government released her in a prisoner exchange deal."

Shadia Abu Ghazaleh

A PFLP activist who died in 1968 while preparing a bomb that was to be planted in a building in Tel Aviv.

The article states: "[Ghazaleh was] the first woman fighter to be martyred after the Naksa ["setback, relapse"] of 1967. She was born in Nablus in 1949, and began her political activity at an early age, when she joined the Qawmiyoun Al-'Arab movement in 1962.  After the Naksa, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine grew out of this movement. [Abu Ghazaleh] became a member of its leadership and took part in sacrifice operations against the occupation. But on November 28, 1968, [while] she was building a bomb in her house in order to plant it in an Israeli building in Tel Aviv, the bomb blew up in her hands and she was martyred."

Umaya Juha

Umaya Juha is a cartoonist close to Hamas. Her first husband was a member of Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, and was killed in a clash with the IDF, and her second husband was also an Al-Qassam member.[4] She is known for her virulent and inciting cartoons, and in January 2016 it was reported that Facebook had removed her account following complaints about inciting content.[5] The article describes her as follows: "The first woman cartoonist in Palestine and in the Arab world at large. She was born in Gaza in 1972. The Israelis labeled her a terrorist and anti-Semite and banned her from entering the West Bank for security reasons. She took part in several local, Arab and international exhibitions. In 2000 she was awarded the Arab journalism prize for best cartoonist, and in 1999 she won first place for cartoons in the Palestinian Culture Ministry's annual art contest."

 

Endnotes:

[1] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), March 8, 2016.

[2] On the PA's glorification of Dalal Al-Mughrabi and articles praising her, see MEMRI  Special Dispatch No. 5246, Palestinian Authority Praises Female Terrorist Dalal Al-Mughrabi, March 20, 2013; Special Dispatch No. 2862, Veneration for Dalal Al-Mughrabi on Palestinian Authority TV, in PA Dailies, and on Israeli Arab Websites, March 17, 2010.

[4] Menassat.com, May 5, 2009.

[5] Aljazeera.net, January 16, 2016.