A new interview on official Palestinian Authority television offers
a chilling twist on the popular TV topic - Palestinian mothers´
support for their children´s suicide terror missions.
The interview features the mother of Wafa Al-Bas, a 21-year-old
Palestinian woman who was arrested at the Erez border crossing in
June 2005 with a 20-pound bomb inside her underwear. Her target was
the outpatient clinic of Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where she had
been receiving regular treatments for serious burns to 45 per cent
of her body from a gas stove explosion in her home.
Her greatest wish, she said later, was to kill 30 to 50 Israelis,
including children. The hospital attack would likely have killed or
maimed the Israeli doctor who had saved her life.
In last week´s PA TV interview with Wafa´s parents, her mother says
the event was hard for her - not because her daughter was on a
suicide mission, but because she was arrested.
The mother says she knew that her daughter had wanted to be a martyr
since she was a little girl, but the mother hadn´t encouraged her -
not because the mother opposed the idea of suicide bombing, but
because Wafa was female.
"If it was a boy, I would have supported, but since she is a girl I
Once again, the message to Palestinian society from broadcasts like
this is that suicide bombing is not wrong. Indeed, it is seen as an
honor and a joy to raise a child to be a suicide bomber - at least
if that child is a son.Click here to see this interview
Following the transcript of the interview are a series of examples
of Palestinian mothers expressing joy on Palestinian television that
their children became suicide terrorists - a popular subject on PA
TV for many years.
Transcript of Interview
Interviewer: "How did you receive the news of Wafa´s arrest?"
Wafa´s mother: "When I received the news, it was hard for me. Hard."
Interviewer: "Excuse me, was the hardship in that she failed in the
martyrdom-seeking operation and was arrested, or in the arrest
Wafa´s mother: "The arrest itself. Her wish was martyrdom, Wafa,
since she was a little girl."
Interviewer: "Meaning, you hoped she would be a martyr?"
Wafa´s mother: "Her wish was to be a martyr."
Interviewer: "Did you encourage her?"
Wafa´s mother: "To tell you the truth, I didn´t encourage her. I
talked to Wafa about the issue, about not agreeing to it because she
is a girl. Were it a boy, I would have supported, but since she is a
girl, I discouraged."
[PA TV, February 20, 2006]
Previous ExamplesMother of suicide
terrorist: My son´s martyrdom was as a wedding, a time of joy,
November 17, 2004 Mother of suicide terrorist: "Mothers make sounds of
joy [on their son´s martyrdom] because she wants him to reach
martyrdom... I wanted the best for him... [it was] honor for us,"
November 28, 2003Mother of Suicide Terrorist: He told me to "pray for
me that I will be a martyr," December 5, 2002Mother of suicide terrorist: All the martyrs are my
sons, September 24, 2002 More examples of mothers expressing joy, and of
Palestinian cultural and religious figures saying how mothers should
be happy at news of their sons´ martyrdom can be seen on the
Palestinian Media Watch website.