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PA to name square for terrorist killer on anniversary of attack
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PA to name square for murderer of 37
on anniversary of her attack


by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Another chapter is unfolding in the ongoing confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over the naming of a square after the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. In December, Palestinian Media Watch publicized that the Municipality of Ramallah planned to name a public square in honor of the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 37 civilians in 1978. Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately protested to the US and sharply criticized the PA for its intention to name the square in Ramallah "after a terrorist who killed dozens of Israelis."

The official PA daily newspaper reports today that the PA has chosen to ignore PM Netanyahu's criticism and protests to the US. Not only does it still intend to name the square after the terrorist, but the date chosen for the inaugural ceremony is this Thursday, March 11, the 32nd anniversary of the terror attack.

Since PMW's exposure of the story, PA leaders have repeatedly rejected PM Netanyahu's criticism while defending the practice of honoring murderers, whom they honor as Martyrs (Shahids). PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas also referred to the terror attack as "a military action."

See the timeline of the ongoing dispute below.

After PMW's exposure of the PA's naming of the square in December, Israeli PM Netanyahu protested and condemned the intention:
 
"Today, and a week ago, senior officials from the Prime Minister's office conveyed a protest to the US against Mahmoud Abbas... that the governor of Ramallah named a square in her [Mughrabi's] honor."
[Israeli News Channel 2, Jan. 7, 2010]
"Whoever sponsors and supports naming a square in Ramallah in honor of a terrorist who murdered dozens of Israelis on the Coastal Road - encourages terror."
[Galei Zahal, (IDF radio), Jan. 10, 2010]
 
Today the official PA daily reports that the Municipality is continuing with this Thursday's inauguration:

Headline: "Preparations for inauguration of Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square complete"
"The El-Bireh Municipality has completed construction work at the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square in the Um Al-Sharait region, and has commenced preparations for its inauguration this Thursday, the anniversary of Mughrabi's Martyrdom. The mayor, Jamal Al-Tawil, said that... this year the municipality will celebrate the inauguration of the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square in order to commemorate her memory and her sacrifice as a Palestinian woman who resisted the occupation. City Council member Aida Abu-Ubeid said that the square is considered a symbol of the sacrifice of the Palestinian woman. She also noted that flowers and trees will be planted there, and that a picture of the Shahida Dalal Mughrabi will be placed at the center of the square."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 7, 2010]

There has been no public comment from the Obama administration about the PA's honoring of the terrorist.

Timeline on Dalal Mughrabi Square debate:

Dec. 31, 2009: PMW releases story of PA's intention to name square after Mughrabi
Jan. 7, 2010: PM Netanyahu protests PA's honoring Mughrabi to the US
"Today, and a week ago, senior officials from the Prime Minister's office conveyed a protest to the US against Mahmoud Abbas... that the governor of Ramallah named a square in her [Mughrabi's] honor."
[Israeli News Channel 2]
 

Jan. 10: PM Netanyahu opens cabinet meeting with criticism of PA's honoring Mughrabi
"Whoever sponsors and supports naming a square in Ramallah in honor of a terrorist who murdered dozens of Israelis on the Coastal Road - encourages terror."
[Galei Zahal, (IDF radio), Jan. 10, 2010]
 
Jan. 11: PA Minister of Culture, Siham Barghouti, rejects Netanyahu's protest
"Honoring them this way [by naming places after Martyrs] is the least we can give them, and this is our right."
[Al-Ayyam, Jan. 11, 2010]

Jan. 17: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas rejects Netanyahu's protest
"I do not deny [the naming]. Of course we want to name a square after her [Mughrabi]... [We] carried out a military action; can I then later renounce all that we have done? No, I don't renounce it."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 17, 2010]
 

Feb. 3: Ashraf Ajrami, former PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, defends naming
"[PA] talk about Shahids (Martyrs) is considered, from their [Israel's] point of view, extremism and support for terror... Likewise, naming a square after Dalal Mughrabi is [according to Israel] reason for criticism and attack."
[Al-Ayyam, Feb. 3, 2010]

Feb. 25: Mahmoud Al-Aloul, General Commissioner for Recruitment and Organization, emphasizes importance of naming
"Mahmoud Al-Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee and General Commissioner for Recruitment and Organization, emphasized that it is important to continue commemorating the memory of the Shahids (Martyrs) and the Palestinian acts of heroism, and most importantly the anniversary of the Martyrdom of Dalal Mughrabi, heroine of the Coastal Road operation [terror attack], which falls on March 11th each year."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 25, 2010]

Today, March 7: PA daily announces Thursday's inauguration of square
"The El-Bireh Municipality has completed construction work at the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square ... and has commenced preparations for its inauguration this Thursday, the anniversary of Mughrabi's Martyrdom... City Council member Aida Abu-Ubeid said that the square is considered a symbol of the sacrifice of the Palestinian woman. She also noted that flowers and trees will be planted there, and that a picture of the Shahida Dalal Mughrabi will be placed at the center of the square."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 7, 2010]
 
 


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