Palestinian suicide attacks:
A June 2005 snapshot
Published: 21 June 2005
Briefing Number 144
the last three weeks, several major suicide attacks have
been foiled by Israel, including a Palestinian woman attempting
to attack the Israeli hospital treating her; a plot by a
gang of teenager suicide bombers; and an Islamic Jihad double
suicide bombing attempt in Jerusalem. This Briefing describes
these foiled attacks. The “lull” in Palestinian
attacks is an illusion. Hamas has temporarily reduced attacks
(though states openly that it intends to resume after Israel
disengages from Gaza). Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyrs
Brigade, and the Tanzim, continue to attempt mass killings
of Israeli civilians.
Palestinian woman patient attempts attack on Israeli
hospital treating her
21 year-old Wafaa Samar Ibrahim Bass, a resident of the Jabaliya
camp in North Gaza, was arrested at the Erez crossing point
on her way into Israel on 20 June 2005, carrying a concealed
explosives belt. She aroused the suspicion of Israeli soldiers,
and when they discovered the belt on her, she tried to detonate
Wafaa Bass had first been admitted to Israel’s Soroka
hospital in December 2004 for treatment for burns she received
as a result of a gas tank explosion. She was carrying medical
documents authorising her entry to Israel to receive further
treatment, and used those documents to try to get through the
crossing. She told questioners after her arrest that she planned
a suicide attack on a “crowded Israeli hospital”,
and that she had been despatched by the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs’
Brigade (Source: IDF statement, 20 June 2005).
Our comment: This foiled attack marks a new
low in cynicism and depravity.
Palestinian teenage suicide bomb gang arrested
Israeli security forces have arrested several teenagers in
Nablus who had been recruited to carry out suicide attacks into
Israel by the Fatah Tanzim, operating in conjunction with Hizbollah.
The boys were aged 15, 15 and 16.
One had approached the Tanzim in Nablus, offering to carry
out an attack like his “martyred” friend who had
killed 3 and injured 40 in a crowded Tel-Aviv market in November
2004. Another admitted that he had already been filmed in Nablus
reading his statement to carry out a suicide attack (source:
IDF statement, 15 June 2005).
Our comment: Many Palestinian teenagers are
being recruited to carry out suicide missions. What happened
to the UN-protected ‘rights of the child’?
Islamic Jihad attempt double-suicide attack in Jerusalem
Israeli forces arrested five members of a Bethlehem-based cell
of the Islamic Jihad, who had been in the final stages of planning
a double suicide attack in Jerusalem. Cell members made three
attempts to enter Jerusalem, each of which was thwarted at Israeli
checkpoints. This group had previously organised the suicide
attack on a Tel-Aviv nightclub in February 2005.
Under questioning, members of the group admitted that their
targets were Jerusalem’s Ramot neighbourhood, and a coffee
house, bus or synagogue in the centre of Jerusalem (Source:
Jerusalem Post 1 June 2005).
Our comment: Islamic Jihad has escalated its
activities in recent months, and was recently declared the ‘top
terrorist threat’ to Israeli civilians. Regrettably, it
is in competition with several Palestinian groups for this dubious
Our conclusion: The “lull” in
Palestinian attacks is an illusion. Hamas has temporarily reduced
attacks (though states openly that it intends to resume after
Israel disengages from Gaza). Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyrs
Brigade, and the Tanzim, continue to attempt mass killings of