August 7, 2002


Israeli Arab probably helped avert suicide bombing (David Rudge, Aug. 7, 2002, Jerusalem Post)
Police have cleared an Israeli Arab, in whose car a suicide bomber was killed when the bomb he was wearing exploded prematurely near the Umm el-Fahm junction on Monday, of any involvement in the planned terror attack.

In fact, it transpired that Issam Dahdal, 30, of Upper Nazareth, who works as a guard at a city hotel, may well have prevented the Palestinian terrorist from blowing himself up in a crowded spot in Afula. [...]

According to Dahdal's father, after pulling out of the gas station his son refused to go any further. Zoher Dahdal told reporters that from what he had learned from his son, the suicide bomber had forced Issam to give him a lift.

"He threatened him and said he would blow himself up and kill them both if he didn't drive him to Afula," he said from his son's bedside yesterday.

"Issam did not agree and then he activated the detonator. He did want to take him to Afula. He wanted to prevent innocent people being killed, which had been the intention [of the terrorist].

"My son did what he should have done. We have to defend our country, our people and our soldiers.

"The ones who come to blow themselves up are not interested about children or anybody, only killing whoever is there. My son did what he should have and that brings honor to us and the family.

"We are against terror and especially suicide bombers...My son was in the army and served for three years in the Border Police," said Dahdal.

Barry Meislin sent this one and, as he said, it offers an all too rare opportunity to feel good about a story from the Middle East. So long as people like Issam Dahdal and his father are around there's still hope for the Arab world. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 7, 2002 10:05 PM
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