In yet another instance of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party praising terrorism, the official Fatah facebook page commemorated the slaughter of two civilians and the wounding of over a 100 more on January 27, 2002 by posting a picture of Wafa Idris, the first Palestinian female suicide bomber, and declaring, “This is the hero whose name the Zionists will remember well, and so will Palestinians; the hero who sacrificed herself and her body for Palestine and became a symbol of the struggle and of Palestinian loyalty through one of the most honorable Martyrdom-seeking operations in recent years, which surprised the Zionist enemy and [a symbol of] the self-sacrifice of lovely Palestinian girls for the sake of their homeland. Years have passed since that day, and the name of Wafa Idris is still a lesson that terrifies the Jews.”

Evidently, eleven years on and despite Palestinian commitments to end incitement and educate for peace, Palestinian Authority leaders are still encouraging a culture of martyrdom and hatred. As the official Fatah facebook page reported, “At least 2,000 Palestinians participated in the symbolic funeral of the first female Martyrdom-seeker who blew herself up in Israel. They marched for Wafa Idris behind an empty wooden coffin through the Al-Amari refugee camp in the West Bank. The coffin was draped in the Palestinian flag and posters of Wafa Idris were put on the walls of the streets in the refugee camp. Participants called ‘Wafa is a hero’ while armed men fired in the air to salute Wafa.”

To the contrary of Fatah’s proclamations, Wafa Idris was no “heroine” and no “beautiful flower” that stood up for Palestinian freedom against the so-called “occupation” and the “executioner’s authority.” She took zero actions that brought the Palestinians any closer to achieving freedom. To the contrary, she pulled Palestinians away from these goals, by walking into a shoe store on Jaffa Street and killing innocent people, including an 81-year-old man who had a passion for painting, while wounding other innocent Israeli civilians who did absolutely nothing to harm her or her people.

While Palestinians achieved nothing but regressions in their freedoms following the suicide bombings of the Second Intifada period, Israel suffered immensely from the wanton destruction caused by Palestinians like Wafa Idris. As Yedioth Achronot asserted at the time, “Jaffa Street appeared like a battlefield. On the streets, people fell in silence and all around were personal clothes—shoes, clothing, hats—that hung in windows two seconds before. From the shock wave, all of the intimacy was shattered!” One witness reported, “There was a loud whoosh and a bang. I saw things and people flying in front of my face, before being pushed over myself by the force of the blast.”

At the time, a Fatah Revolutionary Council Member eulogized Wafa Idris by stating, “Wafa’s martyrdom restored honor to the national role of the Palestinian woman, who sketched the most wonderful pictures of heroism in the long battle for national liberation.” This statement was made when Yasser Arafat was the President of the Palestinian Authority. While many people in the west attempt to argue that Mahmoud Abbas is different from Yasser Arafat, these recent statements uttered on the official Fatah facebook page suggest otherwise.

By Rachel Avraham