The Israel Security Agency arrested two female residents of the Gaza Strip who, guided by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, intended to perpetrate a double suicide bombing attack at a crowded place in Tel-Aviv and in Netanya


Overview

1. On May 20, Israel Security Agency arrested at the Erez crossing two female residents of the Gaza Strip who intended to perpetrate a double suicide bombing attack at a crowded place in Tel-Aviv and in Netanya. Planned and guided by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the suicide bombing attack was to take place at the height of the Hamas rocket attack on Israeli population centers in the western Negev desert. The women were supposed to use false medical documents to enter Israel .

Details of the incident

2. On May 20, two women were arrested at the Erez crossing on their way to perpetrate a double suicide bombing attack in Tel-Aviv and in Netanya. The two women are:

a. Fatima Younes Hassan Zaq, 39, resident of the Gaza Strip, mother of eight and pregnant with her ninth child. During the past four years, Fatima Zaq was in charge of the Women’s Work Ministry in Gaza City on behalf of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In that capacity, she was also a coordinator between women who wanted to perpetrate suicide bombing attacks and the organization’s terrorist operatives.


Fatima Younes Hassan Zaq

b. Rawda Ibrahim Younes Habib, 30, resident of the Gaza Strip, mother of four, the niece of Fatima Younes Hassan Zaq.


Rawda Ibrahim Younes Habib

3. Some three months ago, Rawda Ibrahim Younes Habib approached Fatima Younes Hassan Zaq, asking for her help in perpetrating a suicide bombing attack. Fatima Younes Hassan Zaq, who decided to take part in the suicide bombing attack as well, informed her Palestinian Islamic Jihad contacts who then helped the women carry out the attack. The two of them met with Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives on several occasions in order to plan the attack. The suicide bombing attack was supposed to take place in crowded places in Tel-Aviv and in Netanya (such as a restaurant, a banquet hall, or any place frequented by many soldiers).

4. For the two women to enter Israel, one of the organization’s operatives managed to obtain an authentic entry permit, under the false pretext that Rawda Ibrahim Younes Habib needed to undergo a medical examination at the hospital in Ramallah and that Fatima Younes Hassan Zaq was accompanying here there. The operative instructed them to report to the hospital in Ramallah and undergo the medical examination to strengthen their cover story. After the examination, the two women were supposed to meet with a Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative in Ramallah who would provide them with explosive belts and lead them to the sites of the attacks.

5. Before heading off to perpetrate the attack, the two women were trained in the operation of explosive belts. Fatima Zaq was also trained in the use of a Kalashnikov rifle. They were instructed on the clothing they had to wear on the day of the suicide bombing attack so as not to appear suspicious. Before leaving for the attack, they were filmed holding a Quran in one hand and a firearm in the other, as suicide bombers are often filmed before leaving on their mission. Some of the meetings were also attended by Fatima Zaq’s 19-year-old son, also an operative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Summary and assessment

6. Recently, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip has been trying to carry out �quality� terrorist attacks that would put it at the forefront of terrorism and help divert Palestinian attention to Israel . At the height of the Hamas rocket attack, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was therefore planning to perpetrate a double suicide bombing attack�one of the organization’s �specialties��in Israel. After that attack was thwarted, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad joined Fatah in the perpetration of another �quality� attack at the Kissufim crossing (June 9). 2

7. In recent years, the Palestinian terrorist organizations have been using women to perpetrate terrorist attacks (including suicide bombing attacks), and women are part of the terrorist organizations’ support infrastructure. Suicide bombing attacks perpetrated by women include the one perpetrated at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa (October 4, 2003, 21 killed and 48 injured) and the suicide bombing attack at the Haamakim shopping mall in Afula (May 19, 2003, 3 killed and about 50 injured). It should also be noted that in August and September 2006, several female members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were arrested in Judea and Samaria . They served as couriers, transferring funds from the organization’s headquarters in Syria to terrorist operatives in the Palestinian – administered territories. 3 The women who perpetrated the suicide bombing attacks became role models in Palestinian society, with their photographs appearing on posters, leaflets, and books (including those meant for young children).

8. It is not the first time that the terrorist organizations take advantage of Israel’s humanitarian policy, allowing Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip for medical examinations, to infiltrate terrorists into Israeli territory. Noteworthy in this context is the attempted suicide bombing attack on June 20, 2005, when a 21-year-old female suicide bomber arrived at the Erez crossing wearing stockings with 20 lbs . of explosives. The suicide bomber was on her way to a medical treatment at a hospital in Beersheba . 4