Daily Israel Report

Last-Ditch Petition: Leave Sbarro Attacker in Jail

Families of Sbarro restaurant bombing victims seek public’s help keeping killer in jail. If released, they warn, she will inspire others.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/17/2011, 1:00 PM

Terror attack in Sbarro
Terror attack in Sbarro
Flash 90

Families of those slain in the Sbarro restaurant bombing in 2001 are seeking the public’s help in keeping one of the terrorists involved in prison. Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi played a key role in the attack and has never expressed remorse; on the contrary, she has shown joy at her victims’ deaths.

Tamimi is among those who are to be released Tuesday in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

“If released, Tamimi will have her life to live, despite having been sentenced in a court of law after a full and proper trial to sixteen consecutive life sentences. The thought that she will become a wife and mother, be honored by her community and others, and become an inspiration to young formative minds in the Arab world is horrifying and unacceptable,” reads a petition that families are asking the public to sign.

“It is unfathomable that such a proud and unrepentant terrorist be granted freedom under any circumstances.”

Tamimi is now 31. During her time in prison she told journalists, “I'm not sorry for what I did. I will get out of prison and I refuse to recognize Israel's existence.” She is charismatic and has managed to receive favorable coverage in the international media despite her crimes, families warn; a sign that if released she could sway others to join her cause.

The petition campaign was started by Arnold and Frimet Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter Malki was among the eight children killed in the attack. Frimet recently wrote of her feelings after learning Tamimi was to be released, saying, “This ongoing war is killing us.”

The Roths run The Malki Foundation (Keren Malki), which helps special needs children and their families in memory of Malki.