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Middle East Issues





Media Misses Key Aspects of Gaza Attack


By publishing Raeem Al-Raiyshi's “martyr” photo and highlighting her motherhood, too many media reports are inadvertently glorifying the female terrorist who killed four Israelis at the Erez checkpoint in Gaza on Wednesday, January 14. At the same time, many reports so far have failed to explore two key aspects of her attack:

1) the ploy the terrorist used to attempt to gain entry into Israel and the consequences it will have for Palestinian women, workers, and those who need to quickly pass through checkpoints due to medical emergencies. Witnesses reported that Al-Raiyshi approached the checkpoint with such a bad limp that she was offered assistance by another woman, whom she rebuffed. Then, according to Ha'aretz newspaper reporter Amos Harel:

When Raiyshi passed through the detectors and set them off, she told security guard Gal Shapira, who was stationed at the entrance to the terminal, that she had metal pins in her leg. She even lifted her dress slightly to show the guard a bandage. Shapira told her to pass through the detector again, and again the alarm sounded.

The bomber then began to cry, lying on the floor and begging to be let through. The other women also asked the guards to let her through. Shapira called his superior, who told Raiyshi to move into the terminal. In the meantime, a female guard was called to conduct a physical examination. Security procedures dictate that when necessary, women be examined in a side room and by a female guard.

When the female guard turned away to find gloves for the examination, the bomber advanced some four meters into the terminal. When she was in the midst of a group of guards, she detonated the explosive belt she was wearing around her waist.

2) the implications of her statement that she had wanted to become a “martyr” since she was 13 years old, which was approximately 1995.

Consequences of Faking A Medical Condition

This terror attack demonstrates once again why Israelis must check all Palestinians entering Israel, even women and even those who appear to be in need of medical care. As a result of Al-Raiyshi's faking a limp and claiming a medical condition, Palestinian women, and patients who appear to be in obvious pain, will now be subjected to even stricter scrutiny at checkpoints to ensure that they also are not human bombs.

Any future reports about the inconvenience of checkpoints, and particularly reports about medical care being delayed by security checks, should include reference to Al-Raiyshi's cynical fabrication of a leg injury to aid her entry into Israel to murder Israelis.

Al-Raiyshi's ploy is in the tradition of other Palestinians who have faked medical conditions or abused the supposed neutrality of medical personnel to transport explosive belts, combatants and terrorists. For example:

*On March 10, 2003, Palestinian ambulance driver, Aslam Jibril, pleaded guilty to transporting explosives hidden in his ambulance on March 26, 2002. The explosives, weighing 10 kilos and attached to a belt [worn by suicide bombers], were hidden underneath a stretcher, which was carrying a young boy (his nephew) pretending to be sick. (IDF Spokesperson, March 10, 2003)

* Troops arrest wanted militant in ambulance
“In the Gaza Strip, soldiers arrested a wanted militant who was traveling in a Palestinian ambulance at the Gush Katif junction, Israel Radio reported. The troops became suspicious after noticing that there were no medical personnel or injured persons in the vehicle. They proceeded to search the ambulance and found the Palestinian.” (Ha'aretz, June 11, 2002)

* “Israel Radio Correspondent, Nissim Keinan, reported this evening from Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip that today he observed a Palestinian ambulance parked next to Netzarim Junction unloading crates of ammunition and fire bombs. He observed some of the bombs [being] thrown.” (IMRA, October 4, 2000)

Terrorist Yearned to Murder Since Early Years of Oslo Process

As reported by Fox News (Jan 14):

Smiling at times in a videotape that showed her cradling a rifle, Al-Raiyshi said she had dreamed since she was 13 of “becoming a martyr” and dying for her people.

“It was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists and to knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists,” said Raiyshi, wearing combat fatigues with a Hamas sash across her chest.

In initial reports, we have yet to see anyone connect the dots in this statement. If Raiyshi dreamed of “becoming a martyr” since she was 13, that means that she dreamed of murdering Israelis in approximately 1995 (reports vary as to whether Raiyshi was 21 or 22), when Israel and the Palestinians were engaged in the Oslo peace process, and Gaza was under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. Her statement highlights the likelihood that it is not any action of Israel's that provokes terrorism, but the pervasive incitement/indoctrination against Israel that Palestinians have been subjected to since 1993, when the Palestinian Authority came into existence.

Palestinian Murder of Father of 3-Month Old Triplets Given Scant Attention

On Tuesday, January 13, Ro'i Arbel, a 29-year-old father of 3-month-old triplets (and two other young children) was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in a sniper attack. Yet his compelling human interest story has so far only been published in Israeli papers. His murder has mostly been relegated to one or two sentences in articles about other developments in Israel or the disputed territories. Media coverage has been extensive about the personal aspects of the female bomber who perpetrated the Gaza bombing (a different attack than the one that killed Ro'i) and her photo has been published. By what journalistic standard is this story given prominence, while lives cut short or changed forever by the terrorists are almost entirely ignored?


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