A 21-year old Arab woman from Gaza, who had been treated in an Israeli hospital for massive burns she received as a result of a gas tank explosion, was apprehended yesterday at the Erez Crossing wearing "explosive pants." She said she had been directed to carry out her suicide attack inside the crowded Israeli hospital.
The woman, Wafaa Samir Ibrahim Bass, had been given permission to cross the Gaza lines yesterday for admission to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva for continued medical treatment for her facial scars. "The terrorist infrastructure took advantage of her medical condition," read an IDF statement, "in order to carry out a major suicide bombing attack inside Israel."
The resident of Jabaliya aroused the suspicion of the IDF soldiers at the crossing, who placed her in a side room for further checking via camera. During her security check, when she realized that the soldiers had discovered the explosive belt on her body, she attempted unsuccessfully to detonate it.
"The professionalism of the soldiers and the technology at the crossing were what helped reveal the terrorist's intentions and prevent this attack," later said Col. Avi Levy, the local IDF Brigade Commander.
The terrorist told her questioners that she had been dispatched as a suicide bomber by the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade infrastructure based in the northern Gaza Strip. Wafaa was to use her personal medical authorization documents, allowing her to cross through into Israel to receive medical treatment.
This was not the first time that terrorist organizations have attempted to dispatch terrorists from Gaza by exploiting those in need of medical treatment, the IDF reports:
Hamed A-Karim Hamed Abu Lihiya of Jabaliya was arrested on December 20, 2004 by Israeli security forces. He was allowed through the Erez Crossing by virtue of forged documents claiming that he was a cancer patient in need of medical treatment from an Israeli hospital. He confessed in his questioning that he had been smuggled through Erez as a "sleeper" agent of the Hamas terror organization four months before. Abu Lihiya He was to have been joined by an additional terrorist, after which the two would receive weaponry and carry out the attack with the help of terrorist aides inside Israel.
In another incident, Hassan Ahmed Ali Tom of the Gaza-based El Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror organization was arrested by security forces six months ago. He crossed into Egypt through the Rafiah crossing after presenting medical documents which allowed him entry, and was later caught by Israeli forces after he attempted to infiltrate into the Negev. He admitted during his interrogation that he had intended to murder an Israeli citizen and bury his body, as well as to sabotage the train rails near Netanya using an explosive device which he was to receive from Fatah elements.
The IDF further reports that PA women have been increasingly joining the ranks of terror, both as suicide bombers and as assistants in planning and carrying out terrorist attacks. Eight PA women have carried out suicide attacks over the past 4.5 years of the Oslo War, murdering 39 Israelis and wounding 314. Nearly 60 additional women planned to do so but were arrested.