When people talk about my daughter Malki, they usually mention her smile. It radiated the sunniness of her outlook. Then, at 15, she was murdered.

We moved to Jerusalem, Israel, when Malki, Melbourne-born like her older brothers and me, was three. Ahlam Tamimi, a Jordanian student, was Hamas’s first female terrorist. On August 9, 2001, having spent days scouting the city for a site that attracted crowds of Jewish children, she transported a powerful bomb into Jerusalem.

That bomb was a human being — a young Palestinian Arab zealot with a guitar case. Tamimi, the attack’s mastermind, accompanied him into Jerusalem. Both were aware the case, prepared by others, was filled with explosives and a mass of nails to intensify the flesh-ripping effect.

Malki and her best friend, standing at the Sbarro pizzeria counter, were engrossed in text­ing. Tamimi’s bomb stood beside them. At 2pm, he exploded. Fifteen were killed in the blast. Dozens were maimed and hideously injured. A young mother, not among the 15, remains in a coma. One of the murdered, her parents’ only child, was pregnant with her first baby. Malki and Michal, inseparable in life, are buried side-by-side.

Boastful, unbowed and smiling coldly at her trial, Tamimi confessed to all charges. She relishes publicly recounting the details of the bloodbath. The court transcript captures how the three judges, stunned by her open enthusiasm for the carnage, warned that no Israeli official should ever consider commuting the sentence: 16 consecutive life terms.

Read the full article by Arnold Roth at The Australian (subscription only).

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