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The parents of Malki Roth, an American citizen who was living in Israel when she was murdered during a 2001 Jerusalem terrorist attack, are hoping to meet with President Joe Biden in an attempt to have a woman convicted in the bombing extradited to the U.S.
Up until 2011, Ahlam al-Tamimi was serving 16 life sentences following a conviction for her role in planning the attack, where a Palestinian suicide bomber killed Roth and 15 others in a pizzeria in 2001. She now lives in Jordan after being freed as part of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas, and the Roths want her extradited to the U.S. to face trial.
“We are bereaved parents as you are, sir. We have a burning sense that injustice in the wake of our child’s murder is winning,” Frimet and Arnold Roth wrote in a letter to Biden, according to the Associated Press. “We ask that you address this as only the leader of the United States can.”
Tamimi is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list, and the U.S. State Department is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to her arrest or conviction. An American arrest warrant was issued under seal in 2013 and made public in 2017. If apprehended she would face charges based on allegations including conspiring to use and using a weapon of mass destruction against a United States national outside the United States resulting in death. The charge carries possible penalties of up to life in prison or death.
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Roth was one of two Americans killed in the attack at the Sbarro’s pizzeria in Jerusalem, a location chosen by al-Tamimi.
“Something is obviously terribly wrong with how the pursuit of America’s most wanted female fugitive is going,” the Roths wrote in their letter.
“We want to explain this to you better in a face-to-face meeting,” they said. “We want you to look us in the eyes, Mr. President, and tell us how Jordan’s king can be a praiseworthy ally.”
Fox News reached out to the White House regarding the Roths’ request, but they did not immediately respond.
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Jordan blocked Tamimi’s extradition to the U.S. in 2017, claiming that an extradition treaty between the two countries that was signed in 1995 had not been ratified. In 2020, the Trump administration considered withholding aid from Jordan over this, but ultimately did not.
That same year, Tamimi told the AP that attacks like the 2001 bombing are justified as resistance against Israel, which controls the West Bank and had controlled the Gaza Strip at the time of the attack. A year prior to the bombing, which was part of a wave of terror known as the Second Intifada, Israel made an offer of Palestinian statehood that Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat rejected.
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President Biden will be in the Middle East this week, visiting Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia from July 13 to 16. He is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog announced that during the trip he will present Biden with the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor “for his decades-long support for Israel’s security, deepening our alliance & fighting antisemitism.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.