PA wants 'festive' funeral for coastal road killer

Israel urged not to give Hizbullah body of 'symbol of Palestinian women's struggle.'

dalal mughrabi 88 (photo credit: )
dalal mughrabi 88
(photo credit: )
The Palestinian Authority has asked Israel to hand over the remains of Dalal Mughrabi, the Palestinian woman who led the March 11, 1978 coastal road attack in which 36 people were murdered and 71 wounded. Israel is planning to deliver Mughrabi's remains, together with those of scores of Palestinians and Lebanese, to Hizbullah in the context of the new prisoner exchange between the two sides. The PA said in its request that it wanted to "honor" Mughrabi by holding a big funeral for her in Ramallah. Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official closely associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, described Mughrabi, whose family originally came from Jaffa, as a "the first Palestinian woman to carry out one of the most courageous operations in Israel." He claimed that in her will, Mughrabi, who belonged to Fatah, had asked her family to see to it that she was buried in "Palestine." "We want to turn Dalal's funeral into a national wedding, a major celebration," the Fatah official said. "The operation she carried out off the shores of her hometown of Jaffa was heroic and exemplary. She will always be remembered as a symbol for the Palestinian women's struggle." Even if Israel refuses to deliver her remains to the PA in Ramallah, Fatah officials said they were planning to hold big celebrations throughout the West Bank to coincide with her funeral in Lebanon. Ahmed also praised Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar for carrying out another terror attack in Israel one year after the 1978 carnage. He described Kuntar as a "stubborn and firm fighter in the ranks of the Lebanese resistance who led a very courageous operation." Since its inception, the PA has honored Mughrabi by naming many schools and various institutions after her. An article published in Thursday's edition of the PA-funded Al-Hayat Al-Jadedda newspaper hailed Mughrabi as a "living legend and a wonderful example for all women." The article criticized Hizbullah for agreeing to bury Mughrabi in Lebanon and not in the Palestinian territories. It said that someone like her deserved to be buried next to Yasser Arafat's grave in Ramallah.