Hamas: Women who shame family can be bombers
By Amos Harel Ha'aretz 19 January 2004
Last week, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin praised the woman who
killed herself and four Israeli security men at the Erez checkpoint. But it
turns out Yassin's militant Islamist organization does not unequivocally
support the use of women in terror attacks - it is especially hesitant about
the deployment of married mothers.
Senior Hamas figures who have consulted about the subject recently are
inclined to support only the use of women who have desecrated rules of
Hamas' view on women and terror strikes has taken shape in past months, top
Israeli intelligence officers explained to Haaretz on Sunday. In the past,
Hamas leaders avoided taking a clear stand on the use of women in terror
strikes. In some cases, Hamas leaders rejected requests of women to take
part in such attacks; Hamas referred a few such women to other
organizations, particularly Islamic Jihad and Tanzim.
Hamas has now revised this position, and some of the organization's leaders
condone the use of women in terror strikes, particularly in situations where
a woman can carry out the assignment more easily (since she is likely to
cause less suspicion at crossing points), and when the woman has
transgressed moral norms. In such cases, a woman's "sacrifice" atones for
the "stain" she has caused to her family for violating moral codes.
Reem Raiyshi, the woman who blew herself up last week at the Erez crossing,
was the married mother of two. Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday that Raiyshi
was compelled to perpetrate the terror strike to atone for having betrayed
her husband. Relying on IDF sources, this report claimed that Raiyshi's
husband, a Hamas operative, knew about his wife's plan in advance, and even
encouraged her to carry it out.