(Communicated by Israeli security sources)
Twenty-one-year-old Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss was arrested Monday morning, June 20, 2005, at the Erez crossing, after attempting to smuggle an explosives belt through the crossing with the intent of carrying out a suicide bombing attack.
Wafa, 21, a resident of Jabaliya, aroused the suspicion of the soldiers at the crossing and during her security check, and when she realized they had discovered the explosive belt on her body, she attempted unsuccessfully to detonate it.
Wafa stated in her questioning that she had been dispatched as a suicide bomber by the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade infrastructure based in the northern Gaza Strip. Wafa was to use her personal medical authorization documents, allowing her to cross through into Israel to receive medical treatment. Wafa stated that she had been directed to carry out the suicide attack in a crowded Israeli hospital.
Wafa had been admitted to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva between December 2004 and January 2005 for treatment of massive burns she received as a result of a gas-tank explosion.
Wafa was given permission to enter Israel Monday, June 20, for admission to the hospital for medical treatment. The terrorist infrastructure attempted to take advantage of her medical condition in order to carry out a major suicide bombing attack inside Israel.
There have been several attempts by terrorist organizations to dispatch terrorists to Israel from the Gaza Strip by exploiting those in need of medical treatment:
* Hamed A-Karim Hamed Abu Lihiya, born in 1981 and a resident of the Jabaliya refugee camp, was arrested on December 20, 2004 by security forces. He was suspected of operating as part of the Hamas terror organization and had been smuggled into Israel to carry out a suicide bombing attack. Abu Lihiya confessed in his questioning that he had been smuggled through the Erez security crossing into Israel as a "sleeper" agent of the Hamas terror organization four months before, in August 2004. Abu Lihiya was brought through the Erez crossing using forged documents claiming that he was a cancer patient in need of medical treatment from an Israeli hospital. Lihiya was to join an additional terrorist, after which the two would receive weaponry and carry out the attack with the help of terrorist aides inside of Israel.
* An additional attempt was thwarted in early December 2004 when Hassan Ahmed Ali Tom and Mahmed Diab Namer Ja'arur, two terrorists belonging to the Gaza based al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror organization, were arrested by security forces. The two had intended to infiltrate Israel and carry out terror attacks.
Hassan Tom crossed into Egypt through the Rafah crossing after presenting medical documents which allowed him entry. Tom was arrested on December 12, 2004 in a chase that ensued after he infiltrated into the Negev area from Egypt. During questioning he admitted that his intent had been to murder an Israeli citizen and bury his body in order to jumpstart negotiations between Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip and Israel for the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the Israeli citizen. In addition, Tom intended to sabotage the train rails near Netanya using an explosive device which he was to receive from the Fatah infrastructure in the West Bank.
A week before Tom's arrest, Muhammed Ja'arur was arrested at the Rafah crossing as he attempted to cross into Egypt. In his questioning, Ja'arur stated that he was intended to cross into Egypt to join Tom and from there they would infiltrate Israel and carry out the terror attacks.
Monday morning's incident is only one example of the numerous attempts by terrorist organizations to carry out attacks since the beginning of the period of calm was declared in February.
In a joint operation conducted in Ramallah on March 10, 2005, IDF forces and the ISA arrested Hamas terrorist Machmad Bachitsi. Bachitsi, a resident of Gaza, received permission to leave Gaza by claiming to be a kidney donor, but in fact planned to carry out a suicide bombing inside Israel. During his investigation, Bachitsi admitted that he had been drafted by the Hamas organization in the Gaza Strip and that, as part of his preparations, he underwent theoretical and military training, including lessons on electrical circuitry and the production of explosive devices and belts.
Palestinian women suicide bombers - Background
During the past four and a half years of the current conflict, Palestinian women have increasingly been joining the ranks of terror, both as suicide bombers and as assistants in planning and carrying out terrorist attacks.
Since the beginning of the current events there has been a growing phenomenon of the use of women to carry out suicide attacks. Eight Palestinian women have carried out suicide attacks and 59 additional women intended to carry out suicide bombings but were arrested.
Terrorist organizations have uses women to facilitate terror attacks, particularly within Israel - 39 Israelis were killed and 314 were wounded as a result of terrorist attacks involving women.
The involvement of women in terrorist attacks is varied with the most serious being the phenomenon of female suicide bombers. In addition, women have taken part either in the planning or in carrying out of these terrorist attacks.
Examples of the use of women in terrorist attacks:
* Zaineb Ali Isa Abu Salem, 18, a resident of the Aschar refugee camp in Nablus, carried out a suicide terror attack in French Hill in Jerusalem on September 22, 2004. Two border policemen were killed and 16 Israeli civilians were wounded in the terror attack.
* Rin Riashi carried out a suicide bombing attack at the worker's crossing in the Erez Industrial Zone on January 14, 2004. An Israeli civilian, two IDF soldiers and a border policeman were killed in the attack. Five civilians, three soldiers, and one Palestinian woman were wounded in the attack.
* Hinadi Teisar Abed Al Malek Jaradat carried out a suicide bombing attack in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa on October 4, 2003, in which 19 Israeli civilians were killed and 50 civilians were wounded.
* Hav'a Azzam Dra'ama, a student from Tubas, carried out a suicide bombing attack in a shopping mall in Afula on May 19, 2003. Three Israeli civilians were killed and 50 Israeli civilians were wounded in the terror attack.
* Da'a Jiusi, a student from Tulkarm, transported the suicide bomber who exploded himself in the Netanya market on May 19, 2002 . Three Israeli civilians were killed and 59 Israeli civilians were wounded in the attack.
* Andaliv Takatka, a 21-year-old Tanzim operative from Bethlehem who carried out a suicide bombing attack in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem on April 12, 2002. Six Israeli civilians were killed in the attack and an additional 60 Israeli civilians were wounded.
* Aiat Al-Haras, an 18-year-old resident of the Dehaishe refugee camp near Bethlehem who carried out the suicide attack in Kiryat Yovel in Jerusalem on March 29, 2002. Two Israeli civilians were killed and 22 were wounded in the terror attack.
* Kaha'ira Sa'adi, a resident of A Ram who is married and a mother of four, and Sna'a Shadeh, from the Kalandyia refugee camp, who transported the suicide bomber who carried out a suicide attack on King George Street in Jerusalem on March 21, 2002. Three Israeli civilians were killed and dozens were wounded in the terror attack.
* Darin Abu Isa, a resident of Bet Wazan in the West Bank, carried out a suicide attack at the Maccabim checkpoint on February 27, 2002. Two policemen were wounded in the terror attack.
* Wafa Idris, a resident of the Alimari refugee camp in Ramallah, divorced without children carried out a suicide attack on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem on January 27, 2002. An Israeli civilian was killed and 90 civilians were wounded in the terror attack.
* Ahalam Tamimi, a 20-year-old from Ramallah, a student and professional journalist, led the suicide bomber who carried out the suicide attack in the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001, in which 15 Israeli civilian were killed and 107 wounded.
* Iyman Asa, from Nablus, married with two children, planted a bomb in the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv on August 3, 2001. The bomb was found before it exploded.
* Amanaa Mona, a 26 years old Fatah operative from Bir Naballah, lured an Israeli 16-year-old, Ofir Rahum
, to the Ramallah area, where he was killed on January 17, 2001.