Palestinian Moms Becoming Martyrs

More and more Palestinian women want to blow themselves up in attacks on Israel. But are they really choosing to die?

Alexandra Boulat / VII

A family member holds up a picture of Fatma Omar An-Anajar, the oldest Palestinian sucide bomber. An-Anajar blew herself up in Gaza on November 23rd, 2006.

In late March, a macabre music video appeared on a television show for Palestinian children. "Duha," 4, as pale as a porcelain doll, is sitting on a bed, watching her mom dress before leaving home. "Mommy, what are you carrying in your arms instead of me?" the girl sings. The next day, Duha gets the answer from the evening news. It turns out her mother was carrying explosives and had blown herself up, killing four Israelis. The final scene shows the girl wistfully rummaging through her dead mother's bedside table. She finds a hidden stick of dynamite and picks it up....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!