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Daily Israel Report

Terrorist Grandmother Convicted for Bombing Plot

A grandmother from Gaza has been convicted for plotting a double suicide bombing in Israel. The other bomber was to be her niece, a mother of four.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/6/2009, 5:48 PM

Flash 90

A female terrorist from Gaza was convicted Monday by the Be'er Sheva District Court for her role in plotting a double suicide-bombing attack. The woman, Fatma Hassan Zeck, planned a two-pronged attack in Tel Aviv and Netanya. She planned to commit one bombing herself, while the other was to be carried out by her niece.

The court convicted Zeck for attempted murder, membership in a terrorist organization, illegal military training, and weapons-related crimes.

Zeck, 41, is a mother to nine children and has one grandchild. She was pregnant with her ninth child when she attempted to carry out an attack on behalf of Islamic Jihad two years ago; the child was born in an Israeli prison several months after she was caught.

Zeck worked with her niece Roda Ibrahim Habib, a mother of four. While Zeck worked for Islamic Jihad in Gaza for years, investigators believe Habib came up with the plan to commit an attack.

The two managed to obtain false documents stating that Habib was permitted to travel to Ramallah for urgent medical checks, with Zeck traveling along as her escort. From there, the women planned to infiltrate central Israel.

Plot foiled
An Islamic Jihad operative was to meet the women in either Ramallah or Be'er Sheva to give them the bombing belts they would use in the attack. However, the two were arrested immediately upon leaving Gaza based on intelligence information, and the plot was foiled.

Prior to departing Gaza, Habib and Zeck took part in a traditional pre-attack picture taking ceremony, in which both were photographed while holding guns, pistols, grenades and a copy of the Koran. The two bid farewell to their families in videotaped messages.

They were joined by Zeck's then-19 year old son, himself an Islamic Jihad terrorist.

Despite the videos and other evidence against the two women, Zeck's attorney argued that the court could not prove that Zeck intended to carry out the bombing in actuality, as “there were many unknown stops in her journey to commit the attack,” and when she was caught, she had only just begun her path.

The court rejected that argument, and ruled that Zeck's intention to commit the attack was clear.