Old women step forward as ‘martyrs’

There isn’t much in the news story to explain why this seems to be the only choice for the elderly women to feel useful. Certainly we have had elderly patriots throughout history, including those who take up killing others. But given the wealth of experience, suddenly lost, that had been available for alternative action, everyone loses twice, it seems.

A 70-year-old blew herself up in a Hamas attack. She may be just the first of many elderly recruits

…The women put up their own resistance, gathering as human shields around the mosque to help the militants escape. ‘I am 72, says Watfa, ‘but by doing this I felt 20, young and useful and ready to act.’ …Watfa was bruised, as was 70-year-old Fatma Najar, hit by a bulldozer. Three weeks later, Najar blew herself up near Israeli soldiers, wounding two…. It is shocking to see an old woman carrying an M16. Some of her 70 grandchildren and great-grandchildren play beneath the picture.

‘I know at least 20 of us who want to put on the belt,’ said Fatma Naouk, 65. ‘Now is the time of the women. Now the old women have found a use for themselves.’

Sandra Jordan in Beit Hanoun, Gaza
Sunday December 3, 2006, The Observer

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