Arab women (illustrative)
Arab women (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Arab women don’t have it easy in Gaza - especially terrorists who serve their terms in Israeli prisons and then attempt to return to Arab society.

The cheers of welcome reserved female terrorists who are released back into Gaza fade quickly into the stark reality of a grim fight for social acceptance, most discover.

The women released from Israeli jails face difficulties in their families and within their villages once reinstated into society and returned to “normal life,” reported Ma’an, a PA news agency based in Bethlehem.

In many cases, the female ex-prisoners either become divorced or, if single, remain that way for the rest of their lives.

According to one, Wafa’a al-Bis, the women face marginalization, exclusion and degrading treatment in return for their so-called sacrifice for holy cause of jihad promoted to them since their youth.

Al-Bis – also known as Wafa Samir Ibrahim - was a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist organization, the military wing of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction. She was incarcerated in 2005, at age 21, and sentenced to 12 years in prison for attempting a suicide bombing in Israel. 

Ibrahim was caught at the Erez border crossing with Gazawhen IDF soldiers noticed her walking strangely as she attempted to enter Israel for medical treatment at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva - the same hospital where she had previously received treatment for injuries from a gas balloon explosion.

A search revealed 10 kg (22 lbs) of explosives sewn into her underwear. 

She was released after seven years as part of the prisoner swap to free kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit -- and upon her return immediately began a career as a motivational speaker to young Gaza children, encouraging them to become future terrorists. The only reason she survived, she explained to reporters, was because the detonator malfunctioned when she attempted to blow herself up at the checkpoint.

“I hope you will walk the same path we took and G-d willing, we will see some of you as martyrs,” she told dozens of children who came to her home in northern Gaza following her release. Later she told the reporters she would continue to “pursue our struggle... arrests will not deter us from our strong battles and confrontation in the face of Zionist arrogance in the land of Palestine.”

But the bravado she exhibited immediately following her release from prison has given way to the reality that facing her peers, her family and those with whom she must make her life is another story entirely.

“Our society views freed female prisoners as women who were raped,” she explained. 

“My question is whether they think female prisoners were raped willingly or raped while their hands were cuffed,” she told Ma’an. “I can’t obtain the very basic rights of getting appropriate treatment as a freed prisoner,” she added, noting it was difficult for her to obtain medical treatment for third degree burns from a past accident because she is an ex-convict.

Appealing to Gaza’s Hamas terrorist government and other Palestinian Authority officials has brought no response.