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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 October, 2003, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Mid-East cycle of vengeance
By Verity Murphy
BBC News Online

Female suicide bombers are a relatively new phenomenon in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat, who killed 19 people in an attack on a Haifa restaurant on Saturday, was the fifth woman to carry out such an attack since the current intifada began.

Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat
Jaradat was just days away from completing training as a lawyer

Islamic Jihad says the 29-year-old Jenin trainee lawyer was driven to become a mass murderer by the need for revenge.

Jaradat's younger brother Fadi, a 25-year-old Islamic Jihad militant, and their similarly militant older cousin, 34-year-old Salah - were killed by Israeli forces in a raid on Jenin in June.

But to dismiss her motive as revenge is to ignore the spiral of violence that grips the Middle East, where militant groups actively recruit mourning relatives of the intifada, helping them to find a deadly focus for their pain.

Secret plan

Jaradat was just days away from qualifying as a lawyer when she left home at 0730 - earlier than usual - on Saturday.

Her family says she did not tell anyone where she was going and they assumed she was on her way to the law office in Jenin where she worked.

Why should we cry? It is like her wedding today, the happiest day for her
Thaher Jaradat, bomber's brother

Instead, Jaradat went north to the bustling Israeli seaside town of Haifa, managing to slip through the cordon thrown over the West Bank by Israel as a precautionary measure for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

Despite the vigilance of guards and staff at Israeli eateries, Jaradat was able to walk right into the heart of the beachfront Maxim's restaurant - a popular family venue jointly owned by Jews and Arabs and frequented by an equally mixed clientele.

Four children were among those killed as Jaradat detonated her vest packed with explosives.

Militant stronghold

According to her family, Jaradat completed her law studies in Jordan five years ago and subsequently began an apprenticeship to qualify fully as a lawyer - something she was due to complete next week.

Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat's mother
Jaradat's family said they were shocked to hear of her involvement
As a Palestinian born and raised in Jenin, a prime recruiting ground for Islamic Jihad and the scene of frequent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians, Jaradat would have been no stranger to the problems gripping the Middle East.

However, on 12 June this year those problems came sharply into focus when an undercover squad of Israeli soldiers, searching for her militant brother and cousin, killed the two men.

The pair were shot dead in the entrance of a Jenin house where they were staying. Jaradat was also staying at the house when the killings took place.

Religious fervour

Her family say Jaradat was inconsolable, that she had always been religious, fasting twice a week in a sign of piety, but after the deaths this became even stronger. She began studying the Koran and fasting throughout daylight hours every day.

The west Jenin village of Sila Alkhartiya, where her family live, is known for its connections to Islamic Jihad, and her brother was one of the group's leaders - Jaradat's desire to strike back was easily satisfied.

Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat's family's home
Jaradat's family's home has now been destroyed

"The only thing that would push her to do that would be to avenge my brother's death," said her brother 15-year-old brother Thaher.

And for the militant group, Jaradat would have proved an attractive prospect - a pretty, intelligent Arab woman capable of evading the usual security checks Israel has in place to block such atrocities.

Jaradat's relatives claim they were shocked when they heard it was Jaradat who had carried out the attack, but they had no tears for those slain:

"We are receiving congratulations from people," Thaher said. "Why should we cry? It is like her wedding today, the happiest day for her."

Even as Jaradat's family praised her final act, they hurriedly packed up their belongings before the inevitable - Israeli forces razed their home to the ground on Saturday - standard practice for the relatives of suicide bombers.

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