The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Wednesday that it had arrested two Palestinian women who were planning a double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in late May.
One of the women was a 39-year-old mother of eight in her ninth month of pregnancy, and the other was a 30-year-old mother of four. Both were arrested at Erez Crossing.
The suspects were apprehended following detailed intelligence pinpointing their location. During an interrogation following their arrest, the two women admitted that they were Islamic Jihad operatives, and said that they exploited Israel's humanitarian policy in order to gain false entrance papers on a medical pretext.
Fatma Yonas Hasan Zak, the older of the two, had been in charge of the women's Gaza labor office - representing Islamic Jihad - over the past four years. Part of her job was to remain in contact with armed members of the organization. In addition, she served as a go-between for women who expressed a desire to perpetrate suicide attacks.
Approximately three months ago, her niece, Roda Ibrahim Yonas Habib, asked Zak to help her commit a suicide attack. Zak, who decided to join her niece, turned to her contacts in the organization for backing.
According to their confessions, the two women were to detonate their bombs either in a restaurant, an event hall, or near a large group of soldiers.
The 19-year-old son of one of the women was present while the two were being filmed before leaving to perpetrate their attack.