1:36pm UK, Friday August 10, 2001
is the face of the suicide bomber who, with a calm collected
determination, strode up to the counter of a Jerusalem pizza
restaurant and blew himself up with a nail-packed bomb.His
father is "filled with pride" at the act.
The 23-year-old Palestinian left his father's own restaurant
early in the day to make the journey to theIsraeli eatery packed
with families sitting down to lunch.
'Filled with pride'
Izz el-Din al-Masri killed himself and 15 others - including
several children - in the worst attack in Jerusalem for almost a
year. Dozens of others were wounded.
His father Shuheil said he was "filled with pride" though also
sadness over his son's methodical act but he hoped many others
would follow suit.
"When I heard about the operation in Jerusalem," he said, "I did
not doubt that my son did this.
"I will weep for him all my life."
His brother Eyad echoed his father's words: "This is a unique
operation for its quality and success. He always spoke of
martyrdom. Palestinians everywhere can now hold up their heads."
Al-Masri was a member of the militant Islamic group Hamas. Its
leaders ordered the bombing to avenge Israel's killing of two
senior Hamas leaders and six others in Nablus on July 31.
The young man from a small village near the West Bank city of
Jenin, was said to have been "deeply disturbed" by that attack
as well as by Israel's crackdown on Palestinians since the start
of the revolt in which more than 500 Palestinians and nearly 150
Israelis have died.
His father added: "The Palestinians have no alternative to these
(bombing) operations. We have no alternative way to reply to the
Israeli aggression against our people.
"I hope many others follow him."