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Wednesday, January 14, 2004


by Michael Widlanski
In an unprecedented show of support for a human bomb attack, Yasser Arafat's official radio greeted with elation the news of latest suicide assault in the Gaza Strip.

"Citizen Rim al-Riyashi was heroically martyred when she carried out an explosive operation at the Beit Hanoun Junction , killing four soldiers of the Occupation," declared Voice of Palestine Radio in its 4-PM newscast, about an hour after the attack in the Gaza Strip.

The style of the news item, which opened the afternoon news round-up, was more like a birthday greeting than a regular news report, stressing the woman's identity and "heroic martyrdom" (Arabic: istish-haad) repeatedly.

There was no mention that she was a member of the Islamic terror group known as HAMAS (Haraka al-Muqawwima al-Islamiyya: Islamic Resistance Front).

Arafat's VOP radio said Israel was to blame for the attack, and it offered no condemnation for the assault at the Gaza crossing point which also serves as a place of employment and access into Israel for Palestinian laborers.

Michael Widlanski, who teaches at the Hebrew Unviersity's Rothberg School, is a former reporter for The New York Times, The Cox Newspapers, and The Boston Globe. He recently completed his doctoral dissertation on the political role of the Palestinian mass media.

Palestinians walk past fresh grafitti saying the name in arabic of female
suicide bomber Reem Raiyshi, 21, far left, in Gaza City, Wednesday,
Jan. 14, 2004. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

More on Gaza grafitti at the Washington Times.

Mark my words, when the world becomes innured to mom bombs, they will -Gd forbid- begin to send their children.