A woman who was critically wounded in an infamously deadly Palestinian terror attack and who has remained in a vegetative state for 22 years, died of her injuries at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, hospital authorities said Wednesday.
Chana Tova Chaya Nachenberg was 31 years old on the day a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 15 civilians, including seven children, and wounded over 100 others at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001.
She became the 16th fatal victim of the bombing, among the deadliest during the Second Intifada.
Nachenberg was laid to rest in Modi’in on Thursday.
Born in New York, Nachenberg was at the pizzeria that day with her daughter, Sarah, three years old at the time, who escaped from the attack physically unharmed.
Nachenberg’s father, Yitzhak, told Hebrew-language media that his daughter died on Wednesday “after almost 22 years of heroism.”
“Her daughter, our granddaughter, is 24 and a half today. My daughter was supposed to be 53 years old in a month. It has been 21 years and nine months since the attack, for which my daughter has been unconscious, in a coma, at Reuth [Rehabilitation] Hospital in Tel Aviv. About three weeks ago, she was hospitalized at Ichilov Hospital, where she died this evening,” he said.
The US is still seeking the extradition of a Palestinian woman in Jordan convicted as an accomplice in the 2001 suicide bombing.
Two American citizens were among the victims, including 15-year-old Malki Roth, whose parents have waged a campaign to get the terrorist, Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, extradited to the US.
The Roths have repeatedly called on US authorities to press Jordan, which has received billions of dollars in American assistance, to turn over Tamimi for trial.
Tamimi, who chose the target and guided the bomber there, was arrested weeks after the bombing and sentenced by Israel to 16 life sentences with a judge’s order that she never be released.
Tamimi was released from Israeli prison in October 2011 in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2005 and held hostage in Gaza.
Since her release to Jordan, she has expressed no remorse and has boasted that she was pleased with the high death toll. Palestinian terror group Hamas took responsibility for the attack.
Tamimi, a Jordanian national, received a hero’s welcome at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman upon her arrival, and subsequently became a popular television broadcaster and public speaker, boasting of her role in the Sbarro attack. She met her husband, convicted Palestinian terrorist Nizar Tamimi, behind bars in Israel, and married in a ceremony carried live on Jordanian television. In 2020, Nizar Tamimi was deported by Jordan to Qatar.
The US has charged Ahlam Tamimi with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against American nationals. The charge was filed under seal in 2013 and announced by the Justice Department four years later. Her name was added to the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists.
The US and Jordan signed an extradition treaty in 1995. But in 2017, Jordan’s high court blocked her extradition, reportedly claiming the treaty was never ratified.
Last year, Interpol dropped an international warrant for Tamimi.
AP contributed to this report.