BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 31 January, 2002, 17:50 GMT
Symbolic funeral for female bomber
Palestinians march in memory of Wafa Idris
Many Palestinians consider Wafa Idris a hero
At least 2,000 Palestinians have attended a symbolic funeral for the first female suicide bomber to strike against Israel.

I think that the level of Israeli suppression and degradation against us are creating thousands of Wafas

Friend of Wafa Idris
Mourners marched behind an empty wooden coffin through the Al Am'ari refugee camp in the West Bank in memory of 28-year-old Wafa Idris, who blew herself up in West Jerusalem on Sunday.

An 81-year-old Israeli man was killed and more than 100 people were injured in the blast, the first of its kind by a woman.

The ceremony came a day after the woman's mother said she was proud of her daughter and hoped more women would follow her example.

The coffin was draped with Palestinian flags and pictures of the dead woman were pasted to the walls of alleyways in the camp.

Bomb attack in west Jerusalem on Sunday
More than 100 were injured in Sunday's attack
There was no corpse at the symbolic funeral because Idris was blown apart by the blast.

Mourners chanted "Wafa is a hero" as masked gunmen fired a salute into the air.

Idris' friends said they understood her deed.

"I think that the level of Israeli suppression and degradation against us are creating thousands of Wafas," Amne Aydeyyeh told Reuters news agency.

"Wafa's case is only the beginning for other women to do the same," she added. "It is not because we want to kill Israelis but because they are killing our people."

'Response to Israelis'

Mrs Idris said on Wednesday that Wafa, a divorced paramedic, was not a known activist with any Palestinian militant group although her three brothers are Fatah members.

Wasfiyeh, Wafa Idris's mother
Ms Idris's mother said she was proud of her daughter
But the al-Aqsa Brigades militant faction, part of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, published a leaflet saying she had carried out the bombing in response to Israeli military actions.

It is still not clear, however, whether Ms Idris blew herself up intentionally, or whether explosives she was carrying detonated accidentally.

Wafa Idris's name is already becoming widely known: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has called for a memorial in her honour to be built in one of Baghdad's main squares, according to reports in Iraqi newspapers on Wednesday.

The BBC's Orla Guerin
"No-one is certain why she did it"
See also:

30 Jan 02 | Middle East
Female bomber's mother speaks out
28 Jan 02 | Middle East
First Palestinian woman suicide bomber?
29 Jan 02 | Middle East
Mystery over female 'suicide bomber'
28 Jan 02 | Middle East
Hit-and-run Palestinian shot dead
30 Jan 02 | Middle East
Israeli agents hit by suicide bomber
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories