A 73-year-old new immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Lyubov Razdolskaya, was murdered in the Dimona suicide attack this Monday, and her husband was critically wounded and is still fighting for his life. The two of them were theoretical physicists who made a significant contribution to particle physics in Ben Gurion University. Over 40 other people were also wounded in the attack.
The descriptions by the PA's official newspapers starkly contrast with official statements by PA leaders that condemned the Dimona attack. Hours after the Monday afternoon attack, Abbas condemned it and added that he also condemns IDF counter-terrorism actions.
However, Palestinian Media Watch reports on a number of quotes in official PA organs showing that in actuality, the terrorists are glorified in PA culture and government. The official news report in Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda read, "The executors of the operation died as martyrs... An Israeli was killed and 11 were wounded in the operation in the Dimona commercial center."
The headline in another PA newspaper Al-Ayam read, "Dimona: An Israeli Woman was Killed in a Bomb Operation in the Commercial Center; the Two Perpetrators Died as Martyrs." Similarly, the PA newspaper Al-Quds ran the story as, "Two Martyrs and a Killed Israeli Woman in a Bomb Operation in Dimona."
PMW notes that the term "martyr" places the terrorists on the highest level in Islam - a far cry from the formal criticism expressed by Abbas. A "martyr" is also looked upon as a hero and a model to imitate, especially among the youth.
Just recently, after the murder of off-duty soldiers David Rubin and Achikam Amichai as they were hiking near Telem in the Hevron region - one terrorist was killed and another was wounded - Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda reported in a headline, "A Youngster Became a Martyr, Another Was Seriously Wounded, and two Israeli Soldiers were Killed Near Hevron" (Dec. 29, 2007).
The paper also referred to the terrorists who were killed while trying to carry out a massacre in Kfar Etzion two weeks ago as martyrs.
PMW concludes, "It is true that terrorists have always been called martyrs, but the significance of the latest reports is that in the midst of the renewal of a peace process, the terrorists continue to receive the supreme badge of honor by the Palestinian Authority itself."