I can hardly get my head around this. A woman just a few years older than I am, and with whom I have much in common:
The mother of nine and grandmother of 41 became the oldest Palestinian suicide bomber at the age of 57, selecting as her target troops operating near her northern Gaza home in Jabaliya, seeking to curb near-daily rocket attacks on Israel.
and yet inhabiting a world and a mindset I cannot even comprehend:
Najar was shown in a clip from a pre-taped video message aired on mainstream television stations, wearing a Hamas bandana in addition to a white veil and carrying a heavy kalashnikov, fighter-style in her arms.
Relatives said Najar left behind seven sons and two daughters, plus some 41 grandchildren, but insisted they were proud of her "martyrdom," which daughter Azhar said was a direct response to the Beit Hanun shelling.
"We are really happy. It's a big operation. She told us last night that she would do a suicide operation... We are proud," said Zuheir, Najar's 20-year-old son. "'I don't want anything, only to die a martyr.' That's what she said."
Her words before the deed:
"I am the martyr Fatima Najar from the town of Jabaliya. I work for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades and I sacrifice myself for God, the nation, the Al-Aqsa (mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest Muslim site)," she said.
On this Thanksgiving Day I am filled with gratitude that I serve a God who asks me to make my body a living sacrifice for Him. I pray that I can obey with the commitment of this woman.
UPDATE: I've heard this morning that she was 64 and 68 years old. No matter, still tragic. It does make it easier to believe that the woman in the second picture who is holding the photo of the dead woman is the daughter of the bomber.