Palestinian Authority Hamas legislative Speaker Ahmad Bahr has updated from 72 to 2.5 million the number of virgins waiting for “martyrs” upon their arrival “in the Garden of Eden.”
In a recent speech translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Bahr, who is the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said the “palace” where the virgins are waiting can be entered “only by prophets, by the righteous, and by martyrs."
Most Muslim preachers and politicians have used the expression "72 virgins” to encourage Arab youth to be ready to die in anti-Israeli terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. Bahr’s new arithmetic reasons, "In the Garden of Eden, there is a palace... with 500 gates. At every gate, there are 5,000 black-eyed virgins. Brothers, 500 multiplied by 5,000 is 2.5 million."
He said in his speech, aired on Hamas television, that men “should be praying for a son who would wage Jihad for the sake of Allah... As long as we continue on this path, nobody on Earth will be able to confront the resistance, or to confront the mujahedeen, those who worship Allah and seek martyrdom."
Bahr also took aim at the American-mediated talks with the PA and Israel. He said, "I say to you, loud and clear: the negotiations, conducted first in the United States, then in Sharm el Sheikh, and wherever, are aimed at uprooting Islam and the resistance here in Palestine, in Gaza.”
Hamas leaders recently have increased terrorist attacks and escalated rhetoric against the diplomatic process.