Terrorist felt 'like bride on wedding day' ahead of her planned attack

Graffiti on a wall in Bethlehem commemorating a female 'martyr' (photo credit: SETH J. FRANTZMAN)
Graffiti on a wall in Bethlehem commemorating a female 'martyr'
(photo credit: SETH J. FRANTZMAN)
Palestinian terrorist turned non-violent peace activist Shifa al-Qudsi felt “like a bride on her wedding day,”‎ when she attempted to carry out a suicide bombing in Netanya, she told Channel 11 last month.
On April 11, 2002, during the Second Intifada, Qudsi planned to disguise herself as a pregnant woman by wearing a maternity dress under which she was to conceal 33 pounds of explosives. Her motivation, she would later claim in a documentary, was the destruction of her home in Tulkarem by the IDF.
The plan was to detonate it somewhere in Netanya after 5:00 a.m., but she was arrested at 2:30 a.m. before she could carry out the attack.
However, her memories of planning and preparing the attack are still fresh in her mind, liking the joy she felt to being “like a bride on her wedding day, who is preparing to go to ‎her groom. That’s the only thing that ‎went through my head. I’m preparing to go to my groom, can you imagine?”
It seems she was being‎ literal in this comparison, explaining that if she died a martyr she believed she would marry a male martyr in heaven, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
The comments she made reflected interviews she gave in prison in 2002 after her arrest, in which she told an interviewer that suicide bombings weren't suicide, but were in fact “a martyrdom-‎seeking operation.”
Similar responses have been documented by Palestinian Media Watch before. One of these was from 2004, when a female would-be suicide bomber stated that her “reward would have been from ‎Allah” and that she would marry a male martyr in heaven.
After being released from prison in 2008, Qudsi continued to be active in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She currently serves as an activist for the anti-Israel NGO Combatants for Peace. The group was founded in 2006 and serves to help former IDF soldiers and Palestinians find non-violent alternatives to fight for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its efforts have seen it gain international renown, and was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.
Though Qudsi expressed her beliefs at the time of her attempted suicide bombing, she claims to have found a desire to work for peaceful resolutions during her time in prison, as documented in a documentary on Combatants for Peace that was aired at the 2016 Jerusalem Film Festival.
“I found that there is goodness everywhere, that goodness is possible,” she said.
Sophie Ashkinaze-Collender contributed to this report.