JERUSALEM – Israeli security forces arrested a pregnant Palestinian mother of eight and her niece, also a mother, as they worked to carry out a pair of suicide bombings in Israel, the Shin Bet security agency said Wednesday.
While several women have blown themselves up in attacks on Israelis in recent years, among them a 64-year-old grandmother, there is no record of a pregnant woman attempting such an attack.
A Shin Bet statement said 39-year-old Fatima Zak and her niece Rawda Habib, 30, were stopped at the Erez crossing from the Gaza Strip into Israel on May 20, and confessed under interrogation that they were on their way to carry out bombings in Tel Aviv and the coastal resort of Netanya on behalf of Islamic Jihad.
It said that before leaving their Gaza homes they filmed video testaments, as is customary with those on suicide missions, posing with copies of the Koran in one hand and assault rifles in the other
They planned to head from Erez to the West Bank city of Ramallah — saying they needed medical tests — where they were to have been met by an Islamic Jihad militant who would give them explosive belts and final instructions, the statement said.
The Shin Bet did not say how advanced Zak's pregnancy was, but added that Habib was also a mother, with four young children.