A 21-year old who was seriously burned six months ago and had
been granted a special medical pass on humanitarian grounds
to receive treatment in an Israeli hospital was arrested on
Monday with 10 kilograms of explosives hidden in her clothes
as she was trying to travel through the Erez crossing between
Gaza and Israel. When discovered she tried to detonate her
bomb on the spot, but with Heaven's help it did not go
Wafaa Samir Ibrahim Bass, a resident of Jabaliya, aroused the
suspicion of the IDF soldiers at the Erez crossing. The
biometric equipment and the soldiers' responsible behavior
prevented a serious tragedy. After the alert she was taken
for a special security check in a special reinforced concrete
room. At first she protested that she had no weapons and that
she was going for medical treatment. When she realized that
the explosive belt on her body had been discovered, she
attempted unsuccessfully to detonate it several times.
Wafaa stated in questioning that she had been dispatched as a
suicide bomber by the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
infrastructure based in the northern Gaza Strip. She was
using personal medical authorization documents, granted by
Israel to allow her to receive medical treatment in Beer
Sheva. Wafaa stated that she had been directed to carry out
the suicide attack in a "noisy, crowded place" in the Soroka
Hospital in Beer Sheva.
Between December 2004 and January 2005 Wafaa was treated at
Soroka Hospital for massive burns she received as a result of
a gas tank explosion that occurred while she was cooking.
According to Ha'aretz, the Shin Bet had received a tip
that Fatah was planning to send Wafaa on a suicide mission
via one of the Gaza Strip crossings. Israel gave the
Palestinian Authority and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas detailed
information about the plan, Shin Bet sources said, but the PA
Colonel Avi Levy, the North Gaza brigade commander, said the
suicide attempt was "a cynical exploitation of the
humanitarian gestures Israel had made."
The head of the civil administration in the Gaza Strip,
Colonel Yoav Mordechai, said, "The Palestinians are shooting
themselves in the foot."
The BBC reported that in an interview, Ms. Bass first said
that her "dream was to be a martyr. What angered me and the
Palestinian people is the abuse of the Koran. Should we sit
in silence with our hands tied?" She said that she hoped to
murder as many youngsters as possible.
Later in the interview, she changed her story and claimed
that she had been taken advantage of by Al-Aqsa Brigades and
was a victim. She began crying and said she did not tell her
mother of her plans and asked for forgiveness.
Later, in a separate interview with foreign correspondents,
she said that the explosives had been planted on her without
her knowledge while she was being treated at a Gaza Hospital.
"I did not intend to carry out an attack," she said then.
Following allegations of the abuse of a Koran in Cuba by
American interrogators, there were reports of similar abuse
by Israeli guards at the Megiddo prison. After investigating
the incident, Israeli authorities said that the story was
made up under the inspiration of the American incident and
nothing of the sort had transpired. One copy of the Koran was
cut up by Arab prisoners for their own purposes, not for
Israeli military spokeswoman Maj Sharon Feingold said that
Palestinian militants exploit humanitarian cases for their
own ends. "These terror organizations are not only the
enemies of the Israelis but also of the Palestinian people
themselves, who suffer as a result of this abuse of the
young, the sick, the wounded," she said.
There were several similar attempts by terrorist
organizations to send terrorists to Israel from the Gaza
Strip by exploiting those in need of medical treatment:
Hamed A-Karim Hamed Abu Lihiya, 23, a resident of the
Jabaliya refugee camp, was arrested on December 20, 2004 by
security forces. He was suspected of being part of Hamas and
of planning to carry out a suicide bombing attack in Israel.
He was brought through the Erez crossing in August 2004 using
forged documents claiming that he was a cancer patient in
need of medical treatment from an Israeli hospital.
Lihiya was to join an additional terrorist, after which the
two would receive weaponry and carry out an attack with the
help of terrorist aides inside Israel.
An additional attempt was thwarted in early December 2004
when Hassan Ahmed Ali Tom, a terrorist belonging to the Gaza-
based and Fatah-affiliated El Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror
organization, was arrested by security forces. He had
intended to infiltrate Israel and carry out terror
Hassan Tom crossed into Egypt through the Rafah crossing
after presenting medical documents. Tom was arrested on
December 12, 2004 after he infiltrated into the Negev from
Egypt. During questioning he admitted that his intent had
been to murder an Israeli citizen and bury his body in order
to negotiations between Fatah factions in the Gaza Strip and
Israel for the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange
for the Israeli citizen. In addition, Tom intended to
sabotage the train rails near Netanya.
A week before Tom's arrest, Mohammed Ja'arur was arrested at
the Rafah crossing as he attempted to cross into Egypt. In
his questioning Ja'arur stated that he planned to join Tom to
infiltrate Israel and carry out the terror attacks.
In a joint operation conducted in Ramallah on March 10, 2005,
IDF forces and the ISA arrested Hamas terrorist Machmad
Bachitsi, a resident of Gaza, who had received permission to
leave Gaza by claiming to be a kidney donor. In fact he
planned to carry out a suicide bombing inside Israel.
Bachitsi admitted that he had been drafted by Hamas in the
Gaza Strip and that, as part of his preparations, he
underwent military training.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, called upon the
Palestinian society and its leaders to strongly condemn the
use of patients for violent purposes. It also called upon
Israel not to impose "collective punishment" for the
According to Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention,
"civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and
sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances
be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected
and protected by the Parties to the conflict." Thus sending a
terrorist to bomb a hospital is a war crime. Bombing any
group of civilians is a war crime. Using a patient to act as
a bomber is also a war crime.