“We have a burning sense that injustice in the wake of our child’s murder is winning,” said Arnold and Frimet Roth, parents of terror victim Malki Roth.
By Pesach Benson, United with Israel
In a years-long quest for justice, the parents of an American-Israeli girl killed in a 2001 Palestinian terror attack are pressing for a meeting with visiting U.S. President Joe Biden, in the hope of forcing Jordan to extradite the woman convicted of masterminding the attack.
Malki Roth, 15, was killed when Palestinian suicide bomber Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri blew himself up inside a crowded Sbarro’s pizza restaurant in downtown Jerusalem. The bombing, on August 9, 2001, killed 15 and injured another 130. Seven of the fatalities were children.
“We are bereaved parents as you are, sir. We have a burning sense that injustice in the wake of our child’s murder is winning,” wrote parents Arnold and Frimet Roth in a letter to Biden.
“We ask that you address this as only the leader of the United States can.”
Ahlam Tamimi, a Jordanian national associated with Hamas who was studying at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah, was sentenced to 16 life sentences for helping plan the bombing, including surveilling possible targets and escorting the bomber to the restaurant. Israel released Tamimi in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap.
Victims rights groups have been seeking Tamimi’s extradition to the U.S. because two Americans — 15-year-old Malki Roth and 31-year old Judith Greenbaum — were among the dead. Greenbaum was pregnant at the time.
Another dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, Chana Nachenberg, survived but has been hospitalized in a vegetative state ever since.
In 2017, the U.S. Justice Department officially filed charges against Tamimi and announced it would seek her extradition. The FBI also added her to its list of most wanted terrorists.
Jordan denied the request, saying its parliament had never ratified the extradition treaty. Efforts to bring the terrorist to justice took a further hit last year when Interpol dropped its warrant for Tamimi’s arrest.
Monster Gets Hero’s Welcome
Tamimi returned to Jordan, where she received a hero’s welcome. She has since become a well-known media personality, hosting a talk show, “Breeze of the Free,” on the Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV. She also writes weekly columns and appears as a regular analyst on Al-Jazeera and BBC-Arabic. The common denominator: justifying and inciting terror.
Tamimi has never shown remorse for her role in the deadly attack, and instead has expressed pride in the death toll. She told the Associated Press in 2017 that Palestinians have a right to launch terror attacks against Israelis.
“We are an oppressed people defending ourselves,” al-Tamimi told AP from her home in Amman. “We want Israel to leave our land so we can live in quiet.”
Asked about her role in the killing of civilians, including children, Tamimi said: “I don’t target children, but when the bomb goes off, it goes everywhere.”
Critics note that the U.S. provides around $1.3 billion in aid to Jordan annually.
The Roth’s letter to Biden added, “We want you to look us in the eyes, Mr. President, and tell us how Jordan’s king can be a praiseworthy ally.”
President Biden arrives in Israel on Wednesday.