Skip to comments.More Palestinian women suicide bombers could be on the way: analysts
Posted on 03/01/2002 3:34:12 AM PST by kattracks
NABLUS, West Bank, Feb 28 (AFP) - The Palestinian woman who blew herself up at an Israeli army roadblock may have belonged to a special women's unit set up by a radical group, suggesting that there may be more like her on the way, analysts said Thursday.
The woman, whose attack wounded three Israeli soldiers near the West Bank town of Ramallah, was named by relatives as Darin Abu Aysheh, a 21-year-old student from Al-Najah university in Nablus.
She is the first female proven to have carried out a suicide attack since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising 17 months ago.
In contrast, 28-year-old Wafa Idris detonated a large explosive charge in west Jerusalem on January 27, killing herself, an elderly Israeli man and wounding dozens of other people.
While she was initially labeled as the first female suicide bomber, Israeli police later indicated that she was supposed to have given the bomb to a man who would either hide it or carry out a kamikaze operation himself.
Whatever the truth, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a radical offshoot of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, subsequently announced that it had created a special unit for women suicide bombers, naming it after Wafa Idris.
It made the announcement in a videotape broadcast on the Arab satellite channel ANN.
Abu Ayesh left a videotape, also broadcast on ANN, saying she was acting for the Brigade and suggesting that she might be part of its unit.
"So far (radical Islamic groups) Hamas and Islamic Jihad haven't sent any women for practical, religious reasons," Palestinian sociologist Liza Taraki told AFP.
"However, non-religious organizations don't have this kind of restriction and may decide to increasingly resort to women," she said.
Until recently, the bulk of anti-Israeli suicide attacks had been carried out by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the leading Palestinian Islamist groups.
"Suicide attacks are done for effect, and the more dramatic the effect, the stronger the message; thus a potential interest on the part of some groups in recruiting women," added Taraki, who pointed out that other women had attacked Israeli targets before and taken the risk of being shot dead.
Following the Idris attack in January, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin came out against female suicide operations.
However, he said that if a Hamas woman wanted to carry out an attack she should be accompanied by a male relative.
Abu Aysheh, said by her relatives to be a devout Muslim, was accompanied by two Israeli Arab men when she set off the bomb. One of them was shot by Israeli soldiers and seriously wounded, while the other was handed to over to security forces for investigation.
Political analyst Maha Abdel Hadi, who is close to Islamic circles, said "Islam doesn't forbid women to choose martyrdom. Women have the right to resist the (Israeli) occupation by any means they choose.
"In the Palestinian context, martyr operations are permitted for all because our women suffer from the Israeli aggression as much as our men," she added.
"Martyr operation" is the term used by Palestinian extremist groups for suicide bombings, as suicide is frowned upon by Islam, as it is by Judaism and Christianity.
As to what prompted the young woman to end her life, Taraki said: "Motives vary from one individual to another. She was not necessarily desperate; she could have been very brave and determined to sacrifice her life for the country."
Abu Aysheh's relatives denied Israeli radio reports that she had been engaged to a man who was recently killed by the Israeli army.
Her mother said she was angered by the deaths of her fellow Palestinians.
Her cousin, Safwat Safuat Abderahman Khalil, 17, also carried out a suicide attack on January 25, injuring 18 Israelis in Tel Aviv. The attack was claimed by Islamic Jihad's military wing, the al-Qods Brigades.
"This could have been a source of inspiration as much as frustration in the face of the occupation," said Tami Rafidi from the Women Association Technical Committees, the largest women's organization in the Palestinian territories.
"At the end of the day, nothing can prevent women from doing what they want although we see Abu Aysheh's case as an individual case and her act as stemming from an individual decision," she added.
Tarak nevertheless warned that "it is too early to see Abu Aysheh's operation as heralding a wave of female suicide bombers."
Isreal must draw its own, defensible borders, and remove all Palestinians behind that line. Then fortify that line and let the Palestinians rot in their own "society" behind that line until someone in the Arab world realizes that spending money on real schools, real jobs, real health care -- rather than weapons and bombs -- is a good idea.
If that metamorphosis takes one year, ten years, or a hundred years, so be it.
Allah has run out of virgins for the men "martyrs" so new recruits are being actively solicited. (There was complaints about having to share one 72 year old virgin).
Ya get to pick up dirty underwear in this life and ya get to pick up dirty underwear in the afterlife.
Again, to quote Ledeen, "Peace cannot be accomplished simply because some visiting envoy, with or without an advanced degree in negotiating from the Harvard Business School, sits everyone down around a table so they can all reason together." The oft-heard mantra that "there is no military solution" (repeated recently, for example, by former Sen. George J. Mitchell), in short, has things exactly wrong.
Applying these rules of war to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict offers some useful insights. Palestinians were winning until about a year ago, now Israel is.
Until Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took over, Israel was politically divided and militarily demoralized, avoiding reality and indulging in escapism (like "post-Zionism"). Meanwhile, Palestinians exulted in their successes. Smelling victory, they showed impressive stamina and great capacity for self-sacrifice.
A year later, circumstances have flipped. Palestinian violence had the unintended effect of uniting, mobilizing and fortifying Israelis. "Specialists in terrorism have been surprised - some of us are even amazed," admits Ely Karmon of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, "by the endurance, the patience, the relative calm of the Israeli public to what has happened in last year and a half."
Contrarily, the Palestinians' morale is plummeting and despair is setting as Yasser Arafat's ruinous leadership locks them into a conflict they cannot win.
History teaches that what appears to be endless carnage does come to an end when one side gives up. It appears increasingly likely that the Palestinians are approaching that point, suggesting that if Israel persists in its present policies it will get closer to victory.
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