By Khaled Abu Toameh, March 31, 2003
Palestinians in the refugee camp of Jenin have named their main square after
the Iraqi army officer who carried out the first suicide attack against the US
Army in Iraq.
In the attack Saturday, four US Marines were killed when Ali Ja’far al Na’mani,
blew himself up near a military checkpoint on the outskirts of the town of Najaf
in southern Iraq.
The name of the plaza in Jenin was changed from Mosque Square to the
Na’mani Square during a rally Sunday attended by scores of camp residents and
Palestinian officials, sources said Monday.
“We want to honor the brave Iraqi officer who carried out the first suicide
attack against the American and British occupiers,” a senior Palestinian official
in Jenin told The Jerusalem Post.
“We hope there will be more suicide operations in the coming days.”
The Jenin refugee camp has been known as a hotbed for extremist Palestinian
groups responsible for a numerous suicide attacks in Israel. Camp residents
proudly describe the camp, which is home to some 12,000 refugees, as the
capital of suicide bombers.
The decision to honor the Iraqi suicide bomber comes amid a wave of
unprecedented anti-American and anti-British demonstrations in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip.
On Sunday, two Palestinian groups, Fatah and Islamic Jihad, said they were
sending suicide bombers to Iraq to increase the number of attacks on the