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PA daily op-ed glorifies terrorist hijacker who died of cancer

Excerpt of op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: "Peace to Theresa's soul"

"At the peak of the Coronavirus epidemic, which has brought disaster to the whole world, Theresa Halsa (i.e., terrorist hijacker) passed from our world to the world of eternity last Saturday [March 28, 2020]…

When Theresa reached Beirut and asked to join the Fatah Movement, she embarrassed the commanders with whom she met, and some even thought that she was a spy who was sent by the Israeli security forces. However, heroic Theresa proved and confirmed her [national] affiliation when she immediately joined – together with four (sic., three) of her heroic comrades (Rima Issa [Tannous], Ali Taha [Abu Snina], and Zakariya [Abed Al-Aziz] Atrash) [parentheses in source] – training to carry out a self-sacrificing operation that was set for them: the hijacking of an airplane of the Belgian Sabena company on May 8, 1972, to Lod Airport, in order to exchange the captive Zionists Israelis for a number of heroic prisoners in colonialist Israel's prisons.

As fate would have it, heroic Theresa was saved from death together with her comrade Rima, while heroes Ali and Zakariya died as Martyrs. She was sentenced to 4 life sentences, of which she served 10 years in prison. She was released in a prisoner exchange in 1983…

This courageous woman, through her pioneering experience, embodied a number of things, and foremost among them confirmation that women have an important role in life in general and in the struggle in particular, which is no less important than the men's role."

Theresa Halsa – 17-year-old female Israeli Arab terrorist and a member of the Black September terror organization, a secret branch of Fatah, who participated in the hijacking of Sabena flight 571 from Vienna to Tel Aviv in May 1972. When the plane landed in Israel, the terrorists demanded the release of 315 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons. Israel mounted a rescue operation led by Ehud Barak (who later served as Israeli Prime Minister), in which Benjamin Netanyahu (who also later served as Israeli Prime Minister) participated. During the rescue the two male hijackers, Ali Taha Abu Snina and Abed Al-Aziz Atrash, were killed, and one passenger, 22-year-old Miriam Anderson, was also killed accidentally. The two female hijackers, Rima Tannous and Theresa Halsa, were captured and sentenced to life imprisonment – Halsa for 220 years. They were released in November 1983 in a prisoner exchange. Halsa was expelled to Jordan where she lived until she died of cancer on March 28, 2020.


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