Abbas: Awards for terrorists have been revoked

Palestinian prisoners, including two female terrorists who helped kill Israelis, were meant to be given PLO's highest medal.

sbarro bombin 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
sbarro bombin 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas confirmed that plans to present two female Palestinian terrorists with a medal of honor have been withdrawn. Abbas informed Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik of the decision in a telephone call from Moscow late Wednesday. The Al Kuds Mark of Honor, the PLO's highest medal, was meant be awarded in a ceremony in Ramallah Thursday to two female terrorists who helped kill Israelis. The terrorists' families were slated to receive the honors in their stead. Abbas informed Itzik that the awards for the two terrorists, as well as for other Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, had been revoked. Itzik said that the plan had caused outrage among the Israeli public and MKs, adding that it certainly would not have been not conducive to peace negotiations The two female terrorists were Ahlam Tamimi, a Hamas affiliate serving a life sentence for driving the suicide bomber who exploded himself in the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, killing at least half a dozen people, and Amra Muna, who seduced Ophir Rahum over the Internet and then lured him to Ramallah where he was murdered. Conferring the Al Kuds Mark of Honor is decided at the discretion of the PA president, and he alone has the final say when choosing the Palestinians to be honored with the medal. PA Minister for Prisoner Affairs Ashraf el Ajami told Israel Radio on Wednesday that his ministry gave Abbas a comprehensive list of prisoners and his office chose the nominees from this list. When news of the list came out, Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar said the report was "troubling and severe" news, but added that if the report were true, it would continue a recent history of doublespeak from Abbas, which, Sa'ar said, presented different Palestinian intentions and narratives when speaking to Arab crowds and when addressing Western diplomats. Sa'ar mentioned a recent article where Abbas - Israel's Palestinian peace partner - hinted that a return to armed struggle might be in the benefit of the Palestinian cause.