Teenage Gaza bride vows to become suicide bomber:
The young, veiled woman was sitting quiet and still as the room bustled around her.
The black flag of Islamic Jihad was pinned on the wall behind her and two Kalashnikovs were carefully placed in camera shot. Her husband, an Islamic Jihad fighter himself, tied on her “martyr’s” headband.
Umm Anas — not her real name — had just graduated from a programme to train female suicide bombers in Gaza. Our meeting was a highly-orchestrated propaganda event laid on by Islamic Jihad. It was almost theatre – and certainly Israel accuses the Palestinian leadership of manipulating young women like 18-year-old Umm Anas.
Yet, although she nervously twisted her wedding ring, Umm Anas did not appear to be a cipher. She was articulate — more so than the men staging the event — and she knew her own mind. When she spoke of becoming a suicide bomber, Umm Anas’s voice was strong and steady: “This is a gift from God. We were created to become martyrs for God.”
Her main motivation in becoming a suicide bomber appears to be religious rather than nationalistic — the fulfilment of a long-held ambition.