Palestinian youth center names football tournament after first Palestinian female suicide bomber Wafa Idris
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The Al-Amari Palestinian youth center has announced a football tournament for youth
to be held later this week, named after the first Palestinian female suicide bomber Wafa Idris.
The Al-Amari youth center's website displays its logo with UNRWA's name in the center. On the home page, just below the logo and bordered in red, is the announcement of the Wafa Idris tournament.
(After publication of this item UNRWA spokesman called PMW and insisted that they are no longer involved in this youth center and not responsible for the naming of the event after the terrorist.)
Wafa Idris was the first Palestinian female suicide bomber. She blew herself up in Jerusalem, killing one and injuring more than 100 on Jan. 27, 2002. As a volunteer for the Palestinian Red Crescent, she was able to bypass Israeli security and enter Jerusalem in a Palestinian ambulance. Since her bombing, Israel has been forced to delay Palestinian ambulances entering Jerusalem at security check points.
The PA has repeatedly presented Wafa Idris as a hero and role model, naming places and events after her, including a summer camp for youth funded by UNICEF, a Fatah women's military unit, a university students group for Fatah members, a Fatah course, and more. There have been public demonstrations and songs on PA TV to honor her. See listing and video below.
The following is the announcement of the Wafa Idris Tournament in the official PA daily:
Headline: "Al-Amari plans to launch the 'Shahida (Martyr) of Honor, Wafa Idris' youth tournament."
"The administration of the Al-Amari youth center has announced its plans to launch a youth tournament (for 19-year-olds) to be named 'Shahida (Martyr) of Honor, Wafa Idris [tournament].' The Al-Am'ari administration is maintaining contacts with the Palestinian Football Association for permission. [The tournament] will commence on March 10. Twelve teams will be participating."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 6, 2011]
The Palestinian Authority and Fatah have honored Wafa Idris in numerous ways since her bombing:
Summer camp funded by UNICEF named after Wafa Idris:
"Yesterday, activities ended in the camp named after the Shahida [Martyr for Allah] Wafa Idris, for girls in the city of Kalkiliya. The camp was founded by the Scout general administration in the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The camp was under the supervision of the Scouts in the Kalkiliya Administration and about 100 girls from the organizing committee of the city's Scouts participated... [At the closing ceremonies thanks were given including] to UNICEF for its support of the camps."
[Al-Ayyam, July 18, 2003]
Fatah names women's terror unit for attacking Israeli civilians after Wafa Idris:
"Senior officials in the Fatah Movement have said that the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigades... has recently created a women's brigade, in order for women to take an active part in the war being fought in the Palestinian areas. The purpose of this brigade is to carry out attacks on the Israeli home front. The unit has been named 'the brigade in honor of the Martyr Wafa Idris.'"
[Al-Quds, March 1, 2002]
Fatah students' group named after Wafa Idris has course in democracy and human rights:
"The students' committee of the Shabiba [Fatah] student movement, the Shahida Wafa Idris cell in the Al-Quds Open University in Tubass, celebrated yesterday the completion of a course in democracy and human rights.
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 11, 2002]
Fatah named women's course after Wafa Idris:
"... the General Security Forces held a graduation ceremony for the Shahida (Martyr) Wafa Idris course, for training Fatah women cadres, organized by the Commission in cooperation with the General Union of Women and the Public Relations Department in the Jenin District."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), July 3, 2005]
PA TV regularly broadcast a video honoring Idris in the years following her terror attack:
"My sister Wafa, my sister Wafa
Oh the heartbeat of pride,
Oh blossom who was on earth and is now in Heaven.
Allahu Akbar! [Allah is greater]
Oh Palestine of the Arabs,
Allahu Akbar, Oh Wafa!
But you chose Shahada [Martyrdom]
In death you have brought life to the aspiration
But you chose Shahada
In death you have brought life to the aspiration."
[PA TV (Fatah), first broadcast May 2002]
Click to view
Immediately following the suicide bombing, the Palestinian Authority held a memorial demonstration in her honor. A photograph of this demonstration appeared in a Palestinian daily, featuring posters bearing her picture with the following caption: "The Fatah Movement, Ramallah branch, Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigades, eulogize with great pride the heroic Martyr, of the Al-Amari Refugee Camp, the Martyr Wafa Idris."
The demonstrators waving these posters are young girls, perhaps first-graders.
[Al-Ayyam, February 1, 2002]
Fatah video honors Wafa Idris
This picture of Wafa Idris with the text "The Shahida
(Martyr) Wafa Ali Idris" appeared in a PA TV music video, which blends scenes and pictures paying tribute to the PLO, Fatah, Yasser Arafat and PA and Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas.
[PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 31, 2009]
Among the many articles of praise for Wafa Idris:
"Raviha Diyav, member of the administrative staff of the Palestinian Women Union emphasized that the participation of [Wafa] Idris in the attack shows the determination and the resolve of the Palestinian woman to participate as full partners in the national struggle, alongside her brothers."
[Al-Ayyam, Feb. 1, 2002]
"Recently, the heroine Wafa Idris succeeded in carrying out the bombing in Jerusalem, and subsequently, the Martyr Da'arin Abu Asiyah [carried out a suicide bombing at a roadblock]. These actions... attest to the Palestinian woman's capability to perform successful actions."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 11, 2002]
Attaf Yussuf, a columnist in the media supplement The Women's Voice, wrote after Idris's bombing:
"Palestinian women desire to participate alongside the men in all aspects of the struggle."
[Al-Quds, March 1, 2002)]
"She [Idris] represents the major role of the Palestinian woman in the national struggle... Zaad Abu Ayin, a member of the high-ranking Movement Committee of Fatah, delivered a speech in which he praised the heroism of Idris, as a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which belongs to the Fatah Movement."
[Al-Ayyam, Feb. 1, 2002]
From the internet about the UNRWA youth center:
"Al-Amari youth center was established in 1953. Since its creation the center has been a subsidiary to the UNRWA youth club centers system. The center is located at Al-Amari refugee camp within Ramallah & Al-Bireh Municipality area."