Mother Kills Four in Gaza Suicide Bombing
"It was always my wish to turn my body into deadly shrapnel against the Zionists and to knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of Zionists." So said Reem Al-Reyashi, in a video filmed shortly before the 22-year-old mother of two approached an Israeli checkpoint on the Gaza Strip border, claiming to have a metal plate in her leg. After being ushered into an office for a manual search, she then detonated the vest packed with explosives which she was wearing under her clothes.
Four Israelis were killed and seven people wounded, in the first suicide bomb attack carried out by a woman for the militant Hamas group. Their spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, said the event was a "significant evolution" and called the struggle against Israel, "a duty of men, women and all the Palestinian people." Six female suicide bombers have carried out missions for other groups, such as Fatah-Tanzim, killing 39 Israelis in total.
Al-Reyashi came from one of the richest Gaza families, who owned the biggest car-battery plant in the region, and according to the video had dreamed of her mission since she was 13: "I was hoping to be the first woman, where parts of my body can fly everywhere," she said. "I'm taking revenge against the Jews."
According to reports, Al-Reyashi had approached Hamas several times previously, requesting to become a suicide-bomber, but had been turned down until Sheikh Yassin intervened, personally giving her his blessing. She had previously made several test runs through the checkpoint - the Jerusalem Post noted she had been well prepared by her handlers, and was not sweating profusely like most such bombers would be, but rather pulled off a perfect performance as an ailing woman. According to witnesses sourced by Ha'aretz, "Rayashi was the very picture of wretchedness."
She left behind a 3-year-old son and an 18-month-old daughter: "God gave me two children and I loved them so much. Only God knew how much I loved them."