March 24, 1997
Yasir Arafat’s constant public praise of terrorists as
“heroes” and “martyrs,” and his release of imprisoned Hamas terror leaders,
set the stage for the latest bombing that killed 3 Israelis and wounded 45
others in Tel Aviv, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) said.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “We agree with Prime
Minister Netanyahu that Yasir Arafat bears the ultimate responsibility for
this attack, since Arafat’s actions gave Hamas the green light to murder Jews.
Arafat’s constant public speeches praising mass murderers as ‘heroes’ and
‘martyrs’ encourage Arab terrorists to kill Jews.”
Klein said that Arafat’s release of imprisoned Hamas leaders “sends
a message to Hamas that Arafat approves of their terrorism, and sets their
leaders free to organize more terrorism.”
The ZOA president noted that Arafat last year named a public square
in Jericho after Yiyha Ayyash, the master Hamas bomb-maker who killed more
than 70 Israelis. “Every Arab who walks through Ayyash Square is reminded that the
PLO leadership considers Ayyash, a killer of Jews, to be a hero,” Klein said.
The Reuters news agency reported on March 10, 1997, that Arafat set
free Hamas leader Ibrahim Maqadmeh, “who led a secret network within Hamas
dedicated to attacks against Israel.” That followed Arafat’s recent release
of another Hamas leader, Sheikh Ahmed Nimar.