Monument to Coastal Road massacre
Monument to Coastal Road massacreIsrael national news photo / Creative Commons

The Hebrew-language news website,Ynet, and its sister publication in English, Ynetnews, published on Thursday a sister’s tribute to the commander of one of the most heinous terror massacres in the country’s history – the Coastal Road Massacre.

Under the header “Israelis forced my sister to carry out attack in 1978,” an Arab reporter for the website, Ali Waked, interviewed Rashida Mughrabi, whose sister Dalal commanded the terror strike which left 35 innocent civilians dead and more than 70 injured. 13 of those murdered by the terrorists were children.

"I'm still proud of my sister. The Israelis should not preach to us about morals or humanity," said Mughrabi, who is attending the Fatah convention in Bethlehem. "I have no regrets about what my sister did. The Israelis are the ones who forced her to carry out the attack because they expelled us and stole our lands."

While praising the massacre, Mughrabi contended that "Dalal did not (enter Israel) with the intent to kill. She came with a group of fighters who entered territory that was taken from them in order to free (Palestinians), but the intervention of the occupation's army led to the (end result)," said the sister. "The objective was not to kill civilians, but to reach the Knesset and demand the release of Palestinian prisoners."

The interview as published contained no record of any attempts by the reporter to challenge the narrative. "If I have any regret, it's that I didn’t take part in the operation because Abu Jihad refused to have two sisters participate in the same operation," she said.

'Like the Shalits'

In addition, she demanded to receive her sister’s remains and compares her suffering to that of the Shalit family, whose son is being held by terrorists. "I feel the same pain that (kidnapped soldier Gilad) Shalit's family feels. They are not more human than we are,” she said. "I want my sister's remains back just as much as Shalit's family wants its son returned."

Not mentioned was the fact that Dalal Mughrabi's remains were handed over to Lebanon as part of the exchange for the remains of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, in response to a demand by the Hizbullah terrorist organization.

According to Waked, the Mughrabi family's roots are in Yafo, but he failed to mention that the name “Mughrabi” refers to the Maghreb area, denoting North African origins.

"Even if I am hanged,” she said, “I'll never recognize Israel." Her message to Israelis was, "Get out of our land and let us live. All of the land is ours, and if the Israelis choose to live with us we will not oppose it. They are welcome to live with us, but not as occupiers."

Passengers burned alive

Dalal Mughrabi and 11 other terrorists landed by Zodiac boats on a beach near Ma'agan Michael, north of Tel Aviv. They fatally shot American photographer Gail Rubin who was taking nature photographs nearby, reached the Coastal Highway and commandeered a bus that was carrying Egged bus drivers and their families on a day outing.

The bus continued driving south on the Coastal Road (Highway 2) while the terrorists fired and threw grenades at passing cars, shot passengers and dumped at least one body out of the bus. At one point, they hijacked another bus and forced the passengers from the first bus to board it. An explosion caused either by an exploding fuel tank or a grenade set the bus on fire, killing 35 civilians, 13 of them children. 71 Israelis were wounded.

Ynet: no response

The Union of Advertisers has reported that Ynet receives 750-800 thousand visitors per day – more than all of the readers of Israel’s daily newspapers combined.

IsraelNationalNews contacted Ynet’s news team and asked about the journalistic justification for the interview, questioning whether Ynet’s news team did not think the interview would hurt the feelings of the victims’ families and whether such uncritical coverage of praise for massacres could not encourage more acts of this kind.

Ynet acknowledged the questions but has not responded to them.