A badly burned Palestinian woman was alternately defiant and tearful Monday after Israeli soldiers caught her trying to enter Israel with 22 pounds of explosives hidden on her body.
The woman, who suffered serious burns on her hands, feet and neck in a kitchen explosion five months ago, had been granted permission to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment when she raised the suspicion of soldiers at the Erez checkpoint.
Video released by the military showed 21-year-old Wafa al-Biss taking off articles of clothing on the orders of soldiers searching for explosives, and rubbing her disfigured neck with her burned hands and screaming.
The military said she tried to blow up the explosives Monday but failed and was not injured.
At the Shikma Prison in Israel’s Negev Desert, where the Shin Bet security service allowed Israeli TV reporters to interview her, al-Biss said she was determined to carry out a suicide attack against Israel because of its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
“My dream was to be a martyr,” she said, adding that she was recruited by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a violent offshoot of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement. “I believe in death.”
Words fail me.