September 23, 2001
Opening an exhibition today marking a year of violence, a Palestinian re-enacted
a bloody suicide bombing in Jerusalem.
Wearing a military uniform and a black mask, he entered a doorway
under a replica of the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem, and set off a fake
Visitors crowded through the doorway to see a recreation of the August 9
suicide bombing, complete with body parts and pizza slices strewn all over.
In the downtown Jerusalem attack, the bomber and 15 other people
In another room of the exhibition, visitors looked through dark windows to see
figures dressed as suicide bombers, each with one hand on Islam’s holy Koran
and the other on an automatic rifle, re-enacting the grisly last testament by real
suicide bombers in front of video cameras before carrying out their deadly
“Our message from this exhibition to our people is that the occupiers will suffer
as long as we are under occupation,” said Ala Hmedan, one of the organizers of
“To the Israeli people: if you leave the occupied territories, you will not
suffer and you will not see blood any more,” he said.
Twenty-one Palestinians have blown themselves up in the past year, killing
more than 50 people and wounding hundreds, unsettling and infuriating Israelis.
The Palestinians have said their uprising, or intifada, was a struggle for
statehood and an end to Israel’s 34-year occupation in the West Bank and
A shrine in one room pays tribute to three leaders of the militant Hamas killed in
targeted attacks by Israel.
Three open graves surrounded by candles expose three white coffins for
Jamal Mansour, Jamal Salim and Salah Darwazeh, all top Hamas men in Nablus.
Near the end of the exhibition stands a large rock. Behind it is a figure wearing
a black hat, black jacket and black trousers, typifying an ultra-Orthodox Jew.
A recording from inside the rock calls out: “O believer, there is a Jewish
man behind me, come and kill him.”
Al Najah University, a hotbed for militants, has spawned several suicide
bombers since the violence began.
Many students belong to or support Hamas, which opposes peace deals
with Israel and has claimed responsibility for many of the suicide bomb attacks
Palestinian support for suicide bombings against Israel has increased sharply in
recent months. A July poll showed 58 percent support for the bombers, more
than double the figure of four years ago, when hopes for a peace deal were
Looking at the exhibits, economics student Ghadir Haddad, 19, identified
fully with the displays of violence.
“This exhibition shows the reality we live in. Suicide bombings here,
killings there,” she said. “I’m very happy because as they kill and
torture us they are also killed and tortured.”