For International Womens' Day, PA remembers the "central" Palestinian women: Suicide bombers, plane hijackers and murderers
Headline: “The Palestinian women”
“Deputy Chairman of the Retired Palestinian [PA] Army Personnel in Lebanon [Organization] Faisal Abu Mustafa describes [the Palestinian women] as ‘a role model in all arenas and fields.’
Abu Mustafa commented on the status of women in Palestinian society historically and said: ‘This is documented in the archives. The gates of knowledge were open to them, especially in the cities. In Palestine there were private schools for young women and colleges that trained female teachers and educators. The Palestinian women integrated in the social, political, and economic affairs at an early stage. Even in the rural areas, the women and men went hand in hand.’
He noted: ‘This is the nature of the pluralist Palestinian society, which no one can deny… If we go back to the start of the struggle with the Zionist movement, the Palestinian women had a central and direct role.They carried weapons and dealt with transferring them, and also transferring messages between the battlefronts. They took care of the self-sacrificing fighters and even gave them medical treatment.’
Abu Mustafa continued: ‘[Former PLO Chairman and PA] President Yasser Arafat strengthened the women’s role, and there were prominent names in the Palestinian struggle’s history such as female fighter Theresa Halsa, Rima Issa [Tannous] (i.e., terrorist plane hijackers), Shadia Abu Ghazaleh (i.e., terrorist bombmaker), Reem Riyashi (i.e., suicide bomber, murdered 4), Fatima Al-Najjar (i.e., suicide bomber, wounded 3), Ayyat Al-Akhras (i.e., suicide bomber, murdered 2), Dalal Mughrabi (i.e., terrorist who led murder of 37, 12 of them children), Laila Khaled (i.e., terrorist plane hijacker, involved in murder of 1), Martyr Zakiya Shammout (i.e., terrorist, murdered 1) who gave birth to her son in the occupation’s prison, and other women who sacrificed themselves to defend Palestine.’ …
He added: ‘Currently the Palestinian women are in all fields of activity and are excelling in their work. Among them are doctors, engineers, and poets. They have reached important positions in many states and not just in Palestine. They have penetrated the gates of the American Congress, the Israeli Parliament, and many international organizations and institutions.’”
Yasser Arafat – Founder of Fatah and former chairman of the PLO and PA. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s Arafat was behind numerous terror attacks against Israelis. Although he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres “for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East" after signing the Oslo Accords peace agreement, Arafat launched a 5-year terror campaign - the second Intifada (2000-2005) – in which more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered. Arafat died of an illness in 2004.
Hijacking of Sabena Flight 571 – Four PLO terrorists – Ali Taha Abu Snina, Abed Al-Aziz Atrash, Rima Tannous, and Theresa Halsa – hijacked Sabena Flight 571 from Vienna to Tel Aviv on May 8, 1972, taking the 90 passengers and 10 crew members hostage and separating the Jewish and Israeli passengers from the other passengers on the plane. When the plane landed in Lod Airport in Israel, the terrorists demanded that Israel release 315 Palestinian terrorist prisoners or else they would blow up the plane. The hijacking was planned by Ali Hassan Salameh, commander of operations in Europe of the Black September terror organization – a secret branch of Fatah. 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, one passenger, 22-year-old Miriam Anderson, was killed, as were the two male hijackers, Abu Snina and Atrash. The two female hijackers, Tannous and Halsa, were captured and sentenced to life imprisonment, but were released in November 1983 in a prisoner exchange deal in which Fatah released 6 captive Israeli soldiers and Israel released 4,700 terrorists held in Lebanon and 65 terrorists held in Israel.
Shadia Abu Ghazaleh - Female Palestinian terrorist and member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization who prepared bombs for many attacks against Israel. While she was preparing a bomb for an attack in Tel Aviv in 1968, it accidentally detonated and killed her.
Reem Riyashi – Palestinian female suicide bomber who carried out a suicide attack at the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Jan. 14, 2004, murdering 3 soldiers and one civilian.
Fatima Al-Najjar – 57-year-old female Palestinian terrorist and Hamas suicide bomber who approached Israeli soldiers to attack them near Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip on Nov. 23, 2006. When she did not stop when they ordered her to, they realized she was a terrorist given intel they had about an impending attack and threw a grenade at her that apparently detonated her bomb belt. Al-Najjar was killed in the blast and three soldiers were wounded.
Ayyat Al-Akhras - The youngest female Palestinian suicide bomber (aged 17). A member of Fatah, Al-Akhras carried out a suicide bombing attack near a Jerusalem supermarket on March 29, 2002, murdering 2 and wounding 28.
Dalal Mughrabi – female Palestinian terrorist who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway, murdering 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.
Laila Khaled - Palestinian terrorist and member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who participated in the hijacking of TWA flight 840 from Rome to Athens on Aug. 29, 1969 and the hijacking of El Al flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York on Sept. 6, 1970. The second hijacking was averted by the pilot and security personnel on board. They shot Khaled’s accomplice, Patrick Argüello, who had murdered one of the flight attendants. Khaled was overpowered and the plane landed in London, where Khaled was handed over and held by British police until she was exchanged on Oct. 1, 1970 for hostages held by the PFLP.
Zakiya Shammout – Palestinian terrorist involved in several attacks including the placing of a bomb in the Afula market on Oct. 6, 1969, murdering 1 and injuring dozens. Shammout was sentenced to life in prison, but was released in a prisoner exchange deal in 1983 and deported to Algeria. She died in 2014.