“THE ISRAELIS MUST LEAVE THE MIDDLE EAST”
[Note by Tom Gross]
Since the story below about today's suicide bomb – sent out worldwide for use by international news media by the Associated Press – mentions only the identity of the bomber and not those who were murdered while riding the bus, they are as follows:
Michael Altifero, 19, of Pardes Hana
Aharon Revivo, 19, of Afula,
Shimon Haderi, 20, of Pardes Hana
Alon Goldenberg, 28, of Tel Aviv
Meir Pahima, 40, of Hadera
Mogus Mahaneto, 75, of Holon
The seventh victim has not yet been identified.
Note that the spokesperson quoted in this article says that attacks against Israelis will not stop even if the Palestinians get a state in the West Bank and Gaza.
-- Tom Gross
Suicide bomber wept tears of joy when chosen for mission
By Mohammed Daraghmeh
The Associated Press
March 20, 2002
When Rafat Abu Diyak heard he was to be Islamic Jihad's next suicide bomber, he wept tears of joy, said Mahmoud Tawalbi, the man who sent him.
Abu Diyak boarded a crowded bus traveling through northern Israel early this morning and detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing himself and seven other passengers.
Tawalbi, head of Islamic Jihad in Jenin, recalled Abu Diyak's reaction when he was chosen for the mission."He started crying like a child from happiness, he started kissing me, saying "thank you, thank you, thank God," Tawalbi said. "He said he wanted to make every Israeli cry like the Palestinians."
Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the blast that killed seven and wounded more than 20 passengers, many of them Israeli Arabs. "I have the honor to do so," Tawalbi said.
Abu Diyak was originally a member of the larger Islamic group, Hamas, but switched to Islamic Jihad and asked to carry out a bombing attack, Tawalbi said. "We checked out his background and his personality," Tawalbi said, "and we agreed."
Reflecting Islamic fundamentalist ideology, Tawalbi said Islamic Jihad operatives would not stop their struggle even if the Palestinians get a state in the West Bank and Gaza. He said the Israelis must leave the Middle East. "We will not follow them to Lithuania or Russia," he said.
Tawalbi expressed regret that some of the wounded in the bus attack were Israeli Arab citizens. "We told Arabs in Israel many times to keep away from Israeli places," he said, noting that the bus line serves Israeli cities.
Abu Diyak's parents grieved quietly in their simple house in Jenin. His mother, 52, sobbing, said she could tell something was unusual when her son kissed her for a last time. "My son is a sacrifice to Palestine. I give him to Palestine," she said. She did not give her name.