Planner of the attack: “If time could go backwards, I would carry out what I did, in the same manner.”
Tomorrow, August 9, 2021, will mark 20 years since the attack on the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem. 15 people were murdered, including 5 members of one family, and 130 people were injured.
As a reward for carrying out the attack, each month the Palestinian Authority pays a total of US$8,006 (25,800 shekels) to the imprisoned terrorists and the families of the dead terrorists, who were involved in the attack.
By now, the 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 US$285,571 (921,500 shekels). Every month, the PA pays him a salary of US$2,255 (7,300 shekels). In addition, the PA has paid the family of the suicide bomber US$68,498 (221,400 shekels). Every month the PA continues to pay his family an allowance of US$432 (1,400 shekels). The minimum wage in the PA is 1,450 shekels/month (US$44).
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.
Thus, “Government Decision No. (23) for 2010 regarding a regulation of payment of a monthly salary to the prisoner” sets the salary scale the PA pays to imprisoned terrorists, including additional benefits for married terrorists, terrorists who have children, and terrorists who are residents or citizens of the State of Israel.
In addition to the issue of payments, section 4 of the Law of Prisoners stipulates that the PA will not sign a peace agreement “without the release of all prisoners”, including terrorists like Abdullah Barghouti and hundreds of other terrorists like him, who are responsible for killing thousands of people.
The PA payments to the families of the dead terrorists (so-called “Martyrs”) is not regulated by law. Rather, these payments are made based on internal regulations of the PLO Institute for the Care of the Families of the Martyrs and the Wounded, which is entirely funded by the PA.
One of the main terrorists in the attack on the Sbarro restaurant was Ahlam Tamimi. Tamimi has confessed to choosing the target of the attack and leading the suicide bomber to the restaurant. Although Tamimi was convicted and sentenced to 15 cumulative life sentences, she currently lives in Jordan after being freed as part of the first part of the deal to secure the release by Hamas of abducted IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit.
Before she was released, Tamimi was interviewed on Israeli Channel 1, and the interview was broadcast on PA TV. 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 8 children had been murdered, Tamimi broke into a huge smile.
Israeli interviewer: “Who chose Sbarro [as the target]?”
Tamimi: “I did. For nine days I examined the place very carefully and chose it after seeing the large number of patrons at the Sbarro restaurant. I didn’t want to blow [myself] up, I didn’t want to carry out a Martyrdom-seeking operation (i.e., a suicide attack). My mission was just to choose the place and to bring the Martyrdom-seeker (i.e., the suicide bomber). [I made] the general plan of the operation, but carrying it out was entrusted to the Martyrdom-seeker. … I told him to enter the restaurant, eat a meal, and then after 15 minutes carry out the Martyrdom-seeking operation. During the quarter of an hour I would return the same way that I had arrived. Then I bade him farewell. He went inside, he crossed the road and went to the restaurant, and I went back the way I had come… You have to know something: a Martyrdom-seeker has a very special character, and I was amazed at his great wish to carry out the operation, his great wish to pass over to a different life. How beautiful it is when you make a person – [starts the sentence again] [Suppose] there’s a poor person and you give him a lot of money. He will be happy and you yourself will be happy that you realized for him the happy life that he wanted. My job was to realize, for this Martyrdom-seeker, the happy life that he wanted.”
Interviewer: “Didn’t you think about the people who were in the restaurant? The children? The families?”
Tamimi: “I have no regrets, and no Palestinian prisoner regrets what he or she has done. We were defending ourselves. What are we supposed to regret? Should we regret defending ourselves? Should we regret that the Israelis killed one of us so we killed a different one of them? We have no regrets.”
Interviewer: “Do you know how many children were killed in the restaurant?”
Tamimi: “Three children were killed in the operation, I think. [Smiles.]”
Tamimi: “Eight?! [Smiles.] Eight.”
[Official PA TV, Oct. 23, 2011]
A few days after her release, Tamimi was interviewed again, this time for a Jordanian network. In the interview, Tamimi explained that she does not regret her involvement in the attack and credited Allah for making the attack a “success”.
“Of course. 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. Do you expect me to abandon what I did, saying [I regret it]? Regret is something that is out of the question. If time could go backwards, I would carry out what I did, in the same manner.”
[ammonnews.net (Jordanian website), Oct. 19, 2011]