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Palestinians Mourn Theresa Halsa, Hijacker of 1972 Flight to Tel Aviv

Palestinians Mourn Theresa Halsa, Hijacker of 1972 Flight to Tel Aviv

Sunday, 29 March, 2020 - 09:45
Theresa Halsa leaves the plane on 9 May 1972. (File photo: AP)

The Palestinian Authority, the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Palestinian factions, and official and popular bodies mourned the Jordanian Fatah member, Theresa Halsa, who died at age of 65 of cancer.

The Executive Committee issued a statement saying Halsa was the head of the Association for the Affairs of the Wounded of the Palestinian Revolution and continued her dedicated struggle since the early 1970’s while carrying Palestine in her heart.

Halsa also dedicated her life to serve the wounded and the prisoners, after she was released from the occupation prisons, added the statement.

The Executive Committee offered its deepest condolences to the Halsa family and the Jordanian and Palestinian people.

Fatah movement also mourned its member Halsa, dubbed Umm Salman, who joined the movement early in her youth, and was member of the Black September group, describing her as “a role model for female fighters.”

Theresa became famous for her participation in hijacking an Israeli plane in 1972, Sabena 571, which was headed from Brussels via Vienna to Lod Airport.

Halsa and her group detained 100 passengers during operation known as Lod operation, demanding the release of Palestinian and Jordanian prisoners in exchange.

The Israeli special forces unit, Sayeret Matkal, went undercover as the International Red Cross and attacked the plane, killing two of the members of the group and arresting Halsa and Rima Tannous.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak were special operations soldiers at the time and were both wounded in the operation which followed the hijacking.

Netanyahu was shot in the shoulder, according to unconfirmed sources. Reports said that Halsa fired at him, while Israeli sources claim he was mistakenly shot by another Israeli soldier.

Halasa was arrested and sentenced by an Israeli court to 220 years in prison, but she was freed as part of a prisoner exchange deal after 12 years.

Theresa was born in 1955 in Akka, to a Jordanian father from Karak, Isaac, and mother, Nadia Hanna from al-Ramah in Akka.

Years before her death, Halsa told the Israeli newspaper Maariv that she doesn’t regret the operation.

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