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Friday, January 30, 2004

Suicide bomber's family is proud

"Natural response"
JPost: The family members of the Palestinian suicide bomber who carried out Thursday's attack in Jerusalem said they are proud of their son. The terrorist's father, Munir Ja'arah, described the bombing as a "heroic operation," and said the family supports his son's decision to launch the attack.

"My son is a hero and we are proud of what he did," said Ja'arah, who lives in the Dehaishe refugee camp near Bethlehem...

He was speaking as scores of Palestinians arrived at his home to "congratulate" him on the "martyrdom" of his son, Ali. Neighbors said that as soon as the bomber's identity was announced many local residents took to the streets to express their joy.

"This is a natural response to Israel's massacres, especially the killing of nine [sic] Palestinians in Gaza City a day earlier," said local resident Salah Odeh. "The people here are very happy to hear the good news. The Palestinian people support this attack and want to see more like it."

A leaflet issued by the Aksa Martyrs Brigades said the attack was intended "to show the Zionist enemy that the separation fence would not bring them security."

Ali Ja'arah's uncle, Jihad Ja'arah, was one of the group's leaders in the Bethlehem area. He was one 13 Palestinian gunmen who were deported by Israel after they were holed up inside the Church of the Nativity in 2002 for several weeks.

Jihad, who has been living in Ireland since he was deported from Bethlehem, said on Thursday that he, too, is proud of his nephew's action. He told reporters and relatives by phone that he fully supported the suicide attack because it was a "natural response to Israel's continued occupation and crimes against the Palestinians."