Last week the name of Dalal Mughrabi was repeatedly mentioned in the news in connection with the Lebanese-Israeli exchange of prisoners (another victory for Hizbullah). 30 years after her death, Dalal’s corpse finally made it back to her family. But who is Dalal Mughrabi?
Dalal was one of the earliest known Palestinian freedom fighters. Born in 1958 in a refugee camp to a family that lived in Jaffa until 1948, when the Israelis won the war, killed and chased out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and established their current state, Dalal was raised in Beirut and secretly joined the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization).
In 1978 just before she turned 20 and having had received proper military training, Dalal was chosen to carry out the Kamal Al ‘Odwan Operation (the Israelis called it the Coastal Road Massacre) in retaliation for the assassination of several PLO leaders one of which was Kamal Odwan.
According to the plan, Dalal and her squad were to land near a coastal road heading towards Tel Aviv, hijack one of the military buses driving in that direction and head for the Knesset and in the process kill as many soldiers and Israeli leaders as possible. The mission was never accomplished. Half way through the process the Israeli military learned of what happened and a chase took place on the coastal road leading to the death of several civilians in the cross fire. After many hours of a vicious street war in which tens of Israeli soldiers were killed the 11 Palestinian fighters ran out of ammunition and finally the Israeli army squad, led by Ehud Barak, shot all of them to death.
When journalists arrived to report on the incident Ehud Barak shot several bullets on the already dead Dalal for the benefit of photographers and then proceeded to disarm her from the empty ammunition belt she had on and pulled her by the hair to allow for a better view of her face!
While Dalal and many other Palestinian martyrs are celebrated in the Arab world for their heroic attempts at liberating Palestine, in mainstream American and right-wing European media, as with anything Palestinian, the Zionist Israeli point of view is the only one heard.
One look at the English results of a Google search on Dalal will show how she is described as a murderer, terrorist and at best an extremist separatist who killed Israelis for no reason at all. She is blamed for the death of several civilians who died in the cross fire, and the Israeli operation that followed hers (which led to the death of hundreds of unarmed Palestinians) is not seen as a brutal act of force but as a natural outcome to her operation. You see, when your country is colonized by people who mass-murder your people and steal their land, you are expected to just watch and do nothing or you are an evil, evil terrorist.
This is the only English post on Dalal that I found that is worth reading, though I have a few reservations to it. If you know of any other non-Zionist English articles on her please send me the link.
One final comment I want to add is that in her will, Dalal Mughrabi, asked that she be buried in her country, Palestine, after her death, why was her body returned in the exchange, I don't understand.