Thomas Wictor

Female combatants in Gaza

Female combatants in Gaza

During Operation Protective Edge, Palestinian terrorist groups used female combatants. They admit it themselves.

Palestinian women fighters have been active since the second intifada in 2000, but their numbers have swelled since the most recent Israeli offensive. All of Gaza’s fighting groups have female units, but the most efficient is the Nasser Salahuddin Brigades unit [of the Popular Resistance Committees].

“There are more women than ever — we are now almost equal to the number of men. After this war we saw a huge increase of women signing up for the next fight,” said Om Adam, 40, a leathery-faced veteran fighter, and wife of a senior Salahuddin commander.

She said there were several hundred female fighters in Gaza, but no one knew the exact number because each unit worked in a secretive, 25-strong, cell-like structure…

The women know only their comrades in their unit. Each cell is led by a female commander, who is assigned a male superior. The Salahuddin Brigade is thought to have at least 80 female combatants and hundreds of others who work in support roles…

Some were engaged in direct combat, said Om Khadija, 24, a female fighter who manned an RPG and several rocket launchers during the two months of fighting last summer. All the women recruits were trained to use and fix weapons, including sniper rifles, AK-47s, RPGs and M16s.

The Palestinian casualty lists are useless if you want to figure out what actually happened, but after studying them as much as I could stomach, I believe that they prove that many of the dead female “civilians” were actually combatants.

female_Hamas_fighter

I used the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) list of names as the primary source.

The list of names provided by the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) was useful because it includes dates.

Finally, I compared those two lists to the names of the children killed, which were compiled by the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights (AMCHR).

Women and girls who died alone

My best estimate of the number of women and girls killed is 347. It’s only an estimate, because the three lists don’t match. The total number of deaths is said to be 2100. We can already see that the Israelis were extremely careful in their targeting, since males outnumber females by five times, or 500 percent.

Given the restrictions of Palestinian culture under Hamas, the size of Palestinian families, the population density of Gaza, and the nature of the weapons that the Israelis used, how likely is it that women would be killed alone? That means no friends or relatives died with them.

Of the 347 women and girls listed, eighty-five died alone. In other words 25 percent.

Do you honestly think that in Gaza under Hamas, all those women and girls were out and about by themselves, or in houses by themselves? The ages listed don’t matter, because they’re completely unreliable.

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Take Sahaa Masbah Ahmed Abusaada, for example, reportedly killed on July 12, 2014. The MOH says she was sixteen, while the IMEMC says she was thirty-eight and an employee of the Mabarra Association for the Disabled in Jabalia. AMCHR doesn’t list her.

Saham Musa Abujarad was said to have been killed July 18, 2014. The MOH lists her as fifteen, while the IMEMC has her down as twenty-six. Although the AMCHR lists five Abujarad children as having been killed on July 18, Saham is not among them. Instead we have Ahlam, seventeen, and Samar, fourteen. To my ears, combining their names gives us “Saham.”

Nagam Mahmoud Abdelhameed Alzuwaidi was allegedly killed on July 19, 2014. The MOH and IMEMC say she was two, while the AMCHR describes her as twelve.

Najah Nafei Salmi Abuedwan, killed on July 20, 2014, is listed as forty-seven by the MOH and eighty-five by IMEMC.

So it doesn’t matter if the Palestinians tell you someone was a toddler or an octogenarian. You simply can’t believe the ages. Fully one quarter of all the Palestinian women and girls killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge were alone when they died. How would that be possible if they were civilians? My guess is that virtually all of the women and girls who died alone were combatants or in support roles.

Discrepancies between lists

Since the MOH was the official source of names, I can’t understand why there are so many inconsistencies in the three lists. Keep in mind that I’m talking only about females. The problems with the lists of male names are even more pronounced.

These women and girls were reported killed by the MOH but not the IMEMC.

Maftiya Mohamed Hussein Ziyada
Bayan Abdellatif Ismaeel Ziyada
Saha Naeem Mohamed Akhrawat
Yasmeen Hassan Mohamed Almuqateaa
Saha Abedroubba Mohamed Musleh
Hind Amad Mohamed Qadoura
Hanan Ramadan Mustafa Dahir
Majid Yussef Mohamed Dahir
Jana Bilal Abu Khawda
Sabrin Mohamed Abu Khawda
Shahad Ibrahim Abu Khawda
Rital Tiseer Abu Khawda
Samia Abd al-Rahman Abu Jabar
Salma Anwar Abu Jabar
Hala Ahmed Abu Jabar
Leen Kifah Abu Jabar
Anwar Mohamed Abu Jabar
Dina Hamdan Abu Jabar
Aida Az al-Din Omar Abd al-Ghafu
Sara Ahmed Sidqi Abd al-Ghafu
Nafeen Salim Mohamed al-Far
Amal Salim Mohamed al-Far
Fatima Hassan al-Far
Riham Hussein al-Far
Jihan Salim al-Far
Zeenat Hassan al-Far
Majida Jamal Hassan Hamouda
Nihad Khalil Amhed Hamouda
Hanin Hassam al-Din Khalil Hamouda
Halima Mohamed Suleiman Suleiman
Lamia Ahmed Mahmoud al-Khaleeji
Abeer Nahid al-Asar
Suhaila Alnayrab

Look how many are related to each other. The Times article linked above quotes a female fighter married to a male terrorist commander. We know that Palestinian brothers join the same terrorist organization. Why not sisters?

These girls are not listed by the AMCHR among the 504 children allegedly killed.

Deema Adel Abdallah Asleem
Ola Ziad Hassan Asaleem
Mariam Shaiboub Ahmed Alshinbary
Saha Abedroubba Mohamed Musleh
Uthman Majid Yussef Dahir
Jana Bilal Abu Khawda
Rital Tiseer Abu Khawda

All of them had several family members who were killed and listed. Why were those seven girls missed?

On the other hand, the AMCHR lists these girls, even though the MOH and IMEMC don’t.

Omniya Mohammed Al Silik
Bisan Mustafa Al Mahmoum

Both the MOH and IMEMC provide the details of all the girls’ other dead relatives, but those two are absent.

Then the MOH lists this girl and her dead relatives.

Shahad Rafaat Zouroub

However, neither the AMCHR nor the IMEMC include her. How can two lists tally exactly when presenting the names, ages, and place of death for multiple family members, yet one person is left out?

The MOH lists Janna Rami Yasser Almuqateaa as two years old when she was killed on July 23, 2014. Although the AMCHR includes her, it says she was three. The IMEMC says she was twenty-seven. Absent from the IMEMC list is Yasmeen Hassan Mohamed Almuqateaa, also said to be twenty-seven. She appears only on the MOH list, right below Janna.

Of the 347 women and girls who died, 160 of those whose ages are known were between nine and fifty. In Palestinian culture they were military-aged females—almost fifty percent of the dead. But the real number is obviously higher because the ages of fifty-four females are unknown. There’s evidence of nine-year-old boys fighting, but I see no reason why Palestinians wouldn’t use boys and girls as young as five.

Given the secrecy that surrounds the female combatants of Palestinian terrorist organizations, I think every effort was made to conceal names. At the time of this writing, there were still 146 “unidentified” dead. How convenient. It’s clear just from the number of women and girls who died by themselves that a large percentage of the so-called civilians were actually either fighting or actively involved in supporting the fighters.

Another reason for Israelis to not feel guilty for what Palestinians bring down on their own heads.

al-Quds_Brigades_girl.1


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