Friday, January 16, 2004

It's strange how some suicide bomb attacks get to to you more than others. The day before yesterday, a religious Palestinian mother of 2 infants Reem Salah Riashi (22) exploded a bomb around her waist at a security checkpoint between the Gaza strip and the Israeli- managed Erez industrial zone. In addition to killing herself, she killed 3 Israeli soldiers serving at the checkpoint and a civilian Israeli security guard.

For a report of the attack see and for a report "The sick,crying terrorist" on how this will affect the lives of Palestinians seeking work in Israel, see

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the "spriitual" leader of the Hamas religious extreme Palestinian organisation, announced with pride that this was the first time the male-dominated Hamas had sent a "shahida" (woman sucide bomber) to a deadly mission against Israelis.

It is not the first time that women suicide bombers have killed Israelis. But recently our faith in human (and womanly) compassion is called ever more into question. No longer the raging hormones of angry young men but more and more recently fathers, professionals and now a mother. OK, so the Palestinians are angry, many leave miserable lives, tens of thousands have had family members killed and injured in the El-Aksa Intifada but these kind of attacks serve no useful purpose.

It may be a more Western (rather than Arab) orientation to think that one's actions must have an aim that fulfill a useful purpose rather than just venting rage and hate. From the point of view of the Hamas which seems to be opposed to any kind of agreement or rapproachement with Israel, maybe it does serve a purpose. It will yet further harden the increasingly hardening hearts of Israelis and it will result in harsher, less compassionate attitudes by Israeli soldiers at the checkpoints.

More later.....