Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fifteen years on, there's no relief from the grief

Sbarro pizzeria Jerusalem: August 9, 2016 [Image Source]
The photo on the right depicts the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem taken shortly after the bombing that resulted in the massacre of fifteen men, women and children on August 9, 2001. It captures some of what occurred in its wake -  the horror, the shock, the fear, the urgency to rescue.

No wonder it is many editors' choice to illustrate articles about that terror attack.                          .

But, unlike editors, I scrutinize that photo and similar ones for signs of my child's body. I know it is there somewhere amidst the ashes, water, smoke and bedlam.  Because, inexplicably, it languished at that site for some six hours before being transferred to the forensic lab at Abu Kabir. I have no clue why that happened. But it left me and my family in limbo all those hours with no evidence of our Malki's death.

It is but one of the many outrages that intensify the never-ending nightmare that we endure.

Another is the revelation that our government was aware on the morning of that August 9 that a terrorist had infiltrated the city center - but reacted only by dispatching a few extra police officers to patrol the streets and alerting hospital emergency rooms. We, the potential victims, were never privy to that information. We only learned about this from the Minister of  Justice at the time, Meir Shitreet, in an interview he gave several days after the attack.

Another outrage is the release of our Malki's convicted murderer, Ahlam Tamimi, in the Shalit Deal of 2011 - despite her publicized pride in the deed and despite our protests.

Another is the permission granted her cousin and fiance, Nizar Tamimi, also himself a convicted murderer, to exit the West Bank and join her in Amman, Jordan. Mr. Netanyahu authorized that reunion in contravention of the explicit conditions of Nazir's release also in that Shalit Deal.

Our government misinformed us about the authorization of his exit in order to delay the hearing of a High Court of Justice application my husband and I filed – delayed until he had actually crossed the Allenby Bridge. By then, of course, the court’s intervention had been rendered pointless.

Also compounding our grief is the freedom our child's murderer enjoys to continue her vile, murderous activities. In a string of public appearances, she boasts to adulatory audiences of her "success" and incites them to emulate her. She does this by travelling the length and breadth of the Muslim Arab world and via her weekly TV program  beamed by satellite to millions of viewers around the globe. And not only around the globe but to terrorists currently imprisoned in Israel.

This week, a fresh outrage: we learned (Haaretz, August 7, 2016) that hunger-striking Hamas prisoners had - after two days - won several concessions including the cessation of "humiliating searches" by Israeli prison wardens. The prison authority
said it took the moves in the wake of intelligence indicating that prisoners... were communicating with each other using go-betweens and smuggled cellphones.The IPS said searches of the prison disclosed a number of phones as well as written material suggesting collusion among the inmates. 
This may sound to some like a trivial victory. But it is actually huge. It ensures that at least one type of lethal weapon will be smuggled into Israeli prisons with greater ease that they have been until now. That weapon is the smartphone.

Ahlam Tamimi's incitement to further massacres like Sbarro reaches millions of viewers not only via Hamas' TV station Al Quds but via dozens of websites accessible by smartphone. We have information that, even prior to this victorious hunger strike, smartphones were penetrating prison security: as the spokesperson for the prison service readily conceded to me some months ago: "We just can't detect them all."

Can't, or, perhaps, won't, I wonder.

With the cessation of those "humiliating" searches, we can be assured that smartphones will now be freely circulating. Evil, determined and popular mass murderers, including Ahlam Tamimi, will be enabled to incite and inspire budding terrorists through the web in our own prisons.

And so, fifteen years after our fifteen year old precious, loving and gifted daughter was snatched from us, the grief remains raw. The fresh outrages continue to emerge.


  1. How ironic, that this terrorist and her family, are called Tamimi. Tamim in Hebrew means innocent, upright, unblemished and perfect. The Tamimis are obnoxious, inhuman, soulless, and beyond redemption.

  2. So true. I hadn't noticed the irony in the name. Thank you for pointing it out - Frimet