Jerusalem, 1 August 2002

Two would-be suicide terrorists deterred by concern over family property
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Over the past two weeks, two terrorists who has expressed their desire to carry out suicide attacks and were recruited for this purpose by terrorist organizations, were arrested by the Israel security apparatus after having reconsidered their original intention due to their concern that that their families’ houses would be demolished as a result.

Jilal Khalil Jarar, a 17 year old resident of the village of Yamoun near Jenin, was arrested in early July 2002. Jilal admitted during questioning that about six months ago he had approached his friend, an Islamic Jihad operative, and presented himself as a candidate for recruitment into the Islamic Jihad as a suicide bomber. Jilal’s friend told him that while he could not recruit him into the organization he would later contact him regarding his readiness to carry out a suicide mission. About a week after the car bomb attack at the Meggido Junction on June 5, 2002 (in which 17 Israeli civilians were killed and 42 wounded) an Islamic Jihad operative contacted Jilal and offered him a chance to carry out a car bombing. Jilal refused the offer, stating that he was concerned for his parents and feared that their house would be demolished if he would carry out a suicide attack.

Oumiyeh Muhammed Damaj a 24 year-old female resident of the Jenin refugee camp, surrendered herself to an Israeli unit on July 27th. She told them that she had been strongly influenced by the suicide attack carried out by a woman from Bethlehem (the 29 March 2002 suicide bombing of supermarket in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Yoval neighborhood in which two Israeli civilians were killed and 22 wounded) and has a result approached Mahmoud Touwalbe Noursi, a senior Islamic Jihad the operative in Samaria, and offered herself as a candidate to carry out a suicide attack. She told him that it would be a great honor for a woman to participate in such an action. Noursi praised Oumiyeh’s decision, and told her that he would be in contact.

Prior to Operation Defensive Shield, Oumiyeh prepared a personal letter to her family in which she announced her intention to carry out a suicide attack. A few days later she was photographed by Noursi with a video camera, reading out her will while holding a rifle and a Koran. About two weeks later, Noursi contacted her, stating that she had an opportunity to carry out an attack and that he had prepared a bomb which intended for her to conceal as if she were holding a baby. This attack was later aborted.

About a week before Oumiyeh surrendered herself to Israeli authorities, she held a conversation with Islamic Jihad operatives regarding another attack which she wished to carry out. During the course of her conversation a friend of Oumiyeh was present in the room. The friend later reported to Israeli police about the conversation, and Oumiyeh’s intention to carry at an suicide attack. When Oumiyeh subsequently surrendered herself to Israeli security forces she told them that she had done so because she was concerned they would demolish her family home if she indeed carried out a suicide attack.