24 October 2011
Published in the Commentator
- The least one should expect is that the Quartet and the UN body that
will be considering the Palestinian application for
- statehood must demand that President Abbas denounce and actively
suppress the current pervasive incitement to hatred
- and terror.
- Is discussing a peaceful solution possible in such
Unsurprisingly, mainstream media while giving enthusiastic attention
to the Palestinian prisoners freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap have
ignored inconvenient details.
They have ignored the multiple murders of uninvolved civilians including
infants and the elderly committed by many of the freed
So too, they ignore a recent Reuters report that the day after her
release, would-be suicide bomber, Wafa al-Biss told cheering
schoolchildren that she hoped they would follow her example.
She said, "I hope you will walk the same path we took and God
willing, we will see some of you as martyrs."
But it gets worse. Wafa al-Biss misled Reuters about the true nature of
her actions by saying that she had planned to blow herself up at the Erez
crossing. In truth, her intention, as expressed in her own words, was to
kill as many Jews as possible in a crowded section of Soroka hospital in
She had boasted of this intention in an interview published in Italian
Vanity Fair, extracts of which were published in the London Sunday
Telegraph on June 26, 2005.
Wafa is not a unique female terrorist. She is one of a number of women
who failed in their attempts. But her story has a unique angle.
During 2004/05, her life was saved by doctors at Soroka where she had
been successfully treated for massive burns suffered in a gas-tank
explosion. She developed a good relationship with the medical team and
her family was so appreciative of the six-month treatment that they wrote
a letter of appreciation to the doctors. They said, "the care was
wonderful and warm."
Nevertheless, on June 20, 2005, Wafa entered the Erez crossing ostensibly
to travel to Soroka for further treatment. But this time, she hid an
explosives belt in her underclothes, intending to carry out a suicide
bombing in a crowded part of the very same hospital where she had
received the wonderful and warm treatment referenced above.
As this remarkable
CCTV video shows
her heavy clothing aroused suspicion at the crossing and when the
explosive belt was revealed, she attempted unsuccessfully to detonate it.
Under questioning, Wafa revealed that she had been instructed by the
Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade to use her personal medical authorization
documents, to carry out the suicide attack in a crowded section of the
Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, a gynaecologist from the Jabalya refugee camp who
worked at Soroka hospital, was moved to write an open letter published in
the Jerusalem Post in which he said, "I have nothing but praise for
the doctors, nurses and other medical staff at Soroka hospital. They show
compassion, sympathy and kindness. I was therefore extremely shocked and
upset to hear that Wafa Biss, from the Jabalya refugee camp, was wired
with explosives to blow herself up at Soroka, a place where she had been
treated with kindness and mercy.
On the very day she planned to detonate her bomb, two Palestinians in
critical condition were waiting in Gaza to be taken for urgent medical
treatment to Soroka. Wafa was sent to kill the very people in Israel who
are healing Palestinians from the Gaza strip and West
It is utterly disturbing to see this terrorist, who boasted in the above
mentioned interview that she "wanted to kill 20, 50 Jews. Yes, even
babies" in a crowded hospital, treated as a heroine.
More disturbing is Reuters' statement that Wafa was sent on her inhuman
mission by an offshoot of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah, the
al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade.
This should cause serious concern to all who are making serious efforts
to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict, including the Quartet.
After all, even Al-Qaeda does not deliberately target hospitals.
Since Wafa's abuse of her medical authorization to enter Israel is not
uncommon, it is understandable that Israel finds it necessary to maintain
The question of course arises whether it is possible to even discuss a
peaceful solution, while the freed prisoners are encouraged to persuade
others to engage in suicide bombings and other terror
The very least one should expect is that the Quartet and the UN body that
will be considering the Palestinian application for statehood demand that
President Abbas denounce and actively suppress the current pervasive
incitement to hatred and terror.
Maurice Ostroff is a founding member of the International Coalition of
Hasbara Volunteers, a world-wide umbrella organization of volunteers
active in combating anti-Israel media and political bias and in promoting
the positive side of Israel.