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MEDAL OF HONOR

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All nations in the world have a way to honor their heroes by awarding a medal. The highest medal is imparted generally to those who risk their life in order to achieve, under extreme dangerous condition, an extraordinary achievement or to save the life of others whether it is their fellow soldiers in the battle or civilians in all kinds of disasters. Indeed a large number of people, who were awarded by their countries, with the highest Medal of Honor, paid the ultimate price while doing what they did – their own life.

In the Palestinian society the 12,000 prisoners are a major concern. Each one of them has family and friends who yearn to see their loved ones free again. In the Palestinian point of view most of the prisoners are ‘freedom fighters’ that fought for their people in order to liberate Palestine. Releasing of prisoners is always the first demand of the Palestinians when it comes to political negotiation. The prisoners and former prisoners have a highly respected status in the Palestinian society. Each year the Palestinian Authority marks the “Prisoners day”, an opportunity to show unity and to remind the Palestinians about the real cause of their struggle and who the real enemy is.

Both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, understand well that if there will be a peace between the two societies the Palestinians will be obliged to stop completely the incitement against Jews, to stop promoting and encouraging terror and violence and to use drastic measures against any violent opposition. Israel understands well that a peace treaty will oblige Israel, among other things, to release many thousands of terrorists who committed despicable crimes against civilians.  

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Al-Quds Medal is the PLO’s highest medal (Al-Quds is the Arabic name of Jerusalem). Only the Palestinian president is authorized to approve and to grant the Medal. Indeed there are among the Palestinians, like in any nation, people who risked their life for the Palestinian cause. This year The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decided, last week, to award, on the “Prisoners Day” scheduled to Thursday 04/17/2008, with the Al-Quds Medal five Palestinian prisoners, among them two female prisoners: Ahlam Tamimi (pic), a Hamas female activist who drove, on 08/09/2001, the suicide bomber to the Sbarro Restaurant in West Jerusalem. 14 people were killed in the blast, 5 of them from one single family. Ahlam Tamimi knew the target well and it was chosen because it was crowded with inocent civilian customers. The second granted with the Al-Quds Medal was Amna Muna (pic), who seduced a 16.5 years old boy, Ofir Nahum, from Ashkelon, Israel, through the web, to meet her in East Jerusalem. She presented herself as a tourist from Morocco. When Ofir Nahum went to meet her, on 01/18/2001, in Jerusalem, Amna Muna handed him over to armed Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades activists who shot him dead, in her presence.

Thursday 04/17/2008 was chosen as the ceremony day of the 6th anniversary of the deadliest suicide attack committed against Israelis in Netanya’s Park Hotel in 2002 Passover eve, which killed 33 Israelis and provoked operation  “Defensive Shield”.

Both women, although considered “Freedom fighters” by the Palestinians, targeted innocent civilians, did not risk in any way their own life but, instead, sent others to do the dirty job of killing. 

Eventually, under political pressure from Israel and USA, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided, on Wednesday 04/16/2008, to revoke the plan although he did not deny that he meant to grant the medals.

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 ** Both Ahlam Tamimi and Amna Muna were released from jail, in a prisoners swap between Israel and Hamas, alongside 1027 Palestinian prisoners, on Tuesday 10/18/2011, in return of the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped from a military outpost near Gaza Strip on 06/29/2006. Although the two female prisoners are from the West Bank Ahlam Tamimi was deported to Jordan and Amna Muna was scheduled to be released to Gaza Strip.

 Amna Muna from the Fatah, was known in Israeli jail as the leader of the Palestinian female prisoners and with here cruel methods to impose here leadership, especially on Hamas prisoners. In the last moment she refused to be deported to Gaza Strip, probably fearing Hamas revenge, and was send, instead, to Turkey.   

 

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