March 28, 2013 Special Dispatch No. 5250

PA, Hamas Eulogize Umm Nidal Farahat, Who Became A Symbol Of Palestinian Jihad And Sacrifice After Three Of Her Sons Were Killed

March 28, 2013
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 5250

March 17 saw the death of Hamas MP Maryam Farahat, known as Umm Nidal, whose six sons are all jihad fighters or martyrs in the ranks of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades. Three of them were killed, and one is currently imprisoned in Israel. Umm Nidal has been dubbed "the Khansa of Palestine," after pre-Islamic poet Al-Khansa bint 'Amr. The latter is called the "Mother of Martyrs," since, after her four children died in one of the battles of early Islam, she did not mourn them but rather thanked Allah for "honoring her with their deaths."[1]

Over the years, Umm Nidal, who has become a symbol for Hamas and the Al-Qassam Brigades, continued to speak in praise of jihad and the sacrifice of sons, visited fighters in the field, and held receptions at her home for many delegations visiting the Gaza Strip. Her home was also a safe house for Al-Qassam operatives, including former Al-Qassam commander 'Imad 'Aql, who was hiding there when he was found and killed by Israeli forces in November 1993. Her son Mu'min Farahat disclosed that she had also participated in firing rockets towards Israel during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.[2]

Umm Nidal appeared frequently in the Arab media. For excerpts from a 2002 interview with her in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, see An Interview with the Mother of a Suicide Bomber; for excerpts from a 2004 interview in the same daily, see Palestinian Legislative Council Member ‘Umm Nidal’ on Saudi Iqra TV: A Muslim Mother Should Raise Her Children for Jihad Interviewer Iqra TV Director-General Critical of Arab TV Channels That Don't Support Martyrdom Operations.

For MEMRI TV clips of a 2005 interview with her on Dream2 TV and of a 2006 interview on Al-Iqra TV, see below.




PA and Hamas spokesmen alike expressed sorrow over her death and extolled her great virtue in sacrificing her sons for the sake of Palestine. PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas ordered to erect a mourners' tent for her in the Muqata'a and to award her a medal of honor; Hamas gave her a state funeral, and its prime minister, Isma'il Haniya, was one of the pallbearers. She was also praised and eulogized by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Umm Nidal carrying a rocket[3]

PA, Fatah Award Umm Nidal A Medal, Praise Her Struggle And Jihad

When the news of Umm Nidal's death became known, PA and Fatah officials expressed sorrow and showered praise upon her. PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas ordered to erect a mourners' tent for her near the presidential headquarters in the Muqata'a and to award her a posthumous medal of honor for her sacrifice.[4] Fatah in Gaza issued a communiqué, which stated: "We remember Umm Nidal's immense [acts of] sacrifice, especially her sacrifice of three of her sons who were martyred for the sake of Allah and the homeland."[5] Fatah official Mahmoud Dahlan said that that her life was an example of fortitude, giving and unparalleled struggle.[6] Fatah Central Committee member 'Abbas Zaki said, "The death of the fighter Farahat is a loss to our people, for we have lost a glorious Palestinian [woman] and one of our people's warriors who struggled and stood fast."[7] Another committee member, Zakariyya Al-Agha, said that the death of Umm Nidal, who had sacrificed three of her sons for the beloved homeland, and whose home had been a safe haven for many fighters and martyrs, was a great loss for the Palestinian people, and added: "May Allah look upon her with great mercy and grant her the best of rewards for what she gave, placing her in Paradise alongside the saints and martyrs..."[8]

Fatah MP Najat Abu Bakr remarked that "Umm Nidal was an embodiment of struggle and sacrifice... and had given her sons to redeem the homeland and for the sake of freedom and independence. She taught us all a lesson in struggle, fortitude, sacrifice and jihad. She loved the homeland and merits [the name] "Khansa of Palestine." History will remember her, her struggle and her great fortitude in parting with her sons who were martyred or imprisoned..."[9]

A Facebook page titled "The Official Page Of Fatah In The Gaza Strip" posted a message by the information and culture department of Fatah's Recruitment and Administration Commission in the Southern Districts, which conveyed "sorrow and sincere condolences to the Palestinian people" on Umm Nidal's death."[10]

Hamas: We Will Continue On Umm Nidal's Path Of Resistance And Jihad

During Umm Nidal's funeral on March 17, 2013, Hamas Prime Minister Isma'il Haniya stressed his commitment to Umm Nidal's path of resistance and jihad,[11] adding: "The foundations of [Ariel] Sharon's [decision] to remove the settlements from the Gaza Strip were laid by the martyr Muhammad Farahat, [son of Umm Nidal], with his heroic action that brought about the deaths of nine Zionist officers, and the foundations that led us to attack Tel Aviv in the Eight-Day War [i.e. Operation Pillar of Defense], and which will lead us to attack what lies beyond Tel Aviv, were laid by the martyr Nidal Farahat [another son of Umm Nidal,] who invented the Qassam rocket."[12]

Haniya then praised Umm Nidal Farahat, saying, "She is the extraordinary woman who gave birth to a son who led the manufacture of the Qassam rockets... [that] reached occupied Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. She [also] gave up her son Muhammad for the sake of Allah. He successfully killed Zionist officers in a heroic battle... [Her sons] Nidal, Muhammad and Rawad are martyrs with a single mother. All were active in the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades and have an honorable jihadi past. Furthermore, her home was a pilgrimage destination for all delegations visiting Gaza – as well as a center for jihad... [It also] sheltered the commander [of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades] 'Imad 'Aql and his fellow jihad fighters."[13]

Isma'il Haniya and Hamas offician Ahmad Baher carrying Umm Nidal's body

Umm Nidal's body with guns placed on it, guarded by 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigade members

A March 17, 2013 Hamas commuiqué stated that Umm Nidal was "a model of [Palestinian] womanhood and motherhood: [one] who waged jihad and stood fast, and who presented three of her sons as martyrs to Allah in order to defend the land, Al-Aqsa and the holy sites... She was a source of inspiration for the [young] Palestinian generation, in sacrifice, in seeking reward [from Allah for the sons who sacrificed their lives], in resistance and in jihad..."[16]

Hamas Officials: Umm Nidal – A Paragon Of Jihad In The History Of The Ummah

Three female Hamas MPs praised Umm Nidal, describing her as "the most spectacular example... of the jihad of the Palestinian woman, who pays with her children for the liberation of the homeland. We must... learn from her the lessons of sacrifice, steadfastness and faith."[17]

On March 19, 2013, Hamas organized a memorial service for Umm Nidal in the Al-Shaja'iya neighborhood in eastern Gaza, where she lived, which was attended by many Hamas officials and hundreds of residents. The ceremony included a silent military display by the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades in tribute to Umm Nidal and her martyr sons.

The Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman said that Umm Nidal had walked a long path of jihad by raising her sons to jihad, resistance, and support for resistance fighters, and added that she would "remain an eternal symbol in the memory and history of the Islamic ummah."

Hamas deputy parliament speaker Ahmad Baher said during the ceremony that Umm Nidal was "the mother of jihad, of prisoners, and of female parliamentarians... Each of Umm Nidal's virtues requires [entire] lectures and books to discuss it... She was generous and always sought jihad and sacrifice, and stressed that giving means [giving one's] life and money."

In a speech via phone, Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood General Supervisor Himam Sa'id said that Umm Nidal "gave the finest example on the global and Islamic level" and that "she will play a major part in liberating Al-Aqsa, Jerusalem and Palestine, because she never stopped giving throughout her jihadi life."[18]

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar speaks at Umm Nidal's memorial

Al-Qassam Brigades in military display during the ceremony

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Eulogizes Umm Nidal

The General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Dr. Muhammad Badi', phoned Isma'il Haniya and conveyed his condolences for Umm Nidal's passing.[21] In a communique he issued, Badi' said that Umm Nidal was a model of commitment to the homeland and to da'wa, and that everyone remembers her jihad and steadfastness, and her sacrifice of her three sons.[22] The Arab Doctors Union's Jerusalem Committee, headed by Muslim Brotherhood official Dr. Gamal 'Abd Al-Salam, held a memorial for Umm Nidal in Cairo on March 19, which was attended by Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouq.[23]

The deputy head of the MB's Freedom and Justice Party, 'Issam Al-'Arian, eulogized Umm Nidal, saying: "The jihad fighter Maryam Farahat – the Khansa of Palestine, the mother of three martyrs, an MP and founding member of the resistance movement, host to 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam [fighters], defender of Palestinian women, and a model for Arab women, is missed by the resistance movement [today]."[24]

Dr. Salah Sultan, a shari'a professor at Cairo University who is close to the MB, and who also heads the Jerusalem Committee of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, headed by Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, extolled Umm Nidal on his website, comparing her to the pre-Islamic poet Al-Khansa bint 'Amr. He wrote: "From her home, Umm Nidal changed the power balance of sacrifice and fighting, since the Qassam rockets created by Nidal and his mother developed into the 75-km rockets that reached the Zionist rear in 2012 [during Operation Pillar of Defense, landing] only 200 meters from the Zionist defense ministry and 300 meters from the Zionist Knesset, sending the Zionists in Tel Aviv scurrying like rats to their holes. Nidal did not stop at [developing] the first rocket, but rather insisted on completing his mission and created an unmanned aircraft that would carry explosives and crash into strategic sites among the Zionists, but he was killed in an explosion of part of a Zionist aircraft that was booby-trapped by a traitor. Umm Nidal received the news of his death calmly and with joy that her son Nidal had been honored with martyrdom, hoping he would [dwell in] the highest [level of] Paradise..." Sultan expressed hope that "today's women will be like Khansa of the past and the present, and that the men will be like the sons [of these women]... the martyrs."[25]



[2], March 21, 2013.

[3], March 18, 2013.

[4], March 17, 2013.

[5], March 17, 2013.

[6], March 17, 2013.

[7], March 17, 2013.

[8] Alaahd.s, March 17, 2013.

[9], March 18, 2013.

[10], March 17, 2013.

[11], March 18, 2013.

[12], March 17, 2013.

[13], March 17, 2013.

[14], March 18, 2013.

[15], March 17, 2013.

[16], March 17, 2013.

[17], March 18, 2013.

[18], March 20, 2013.

[19], March 19, 2013.

[20], March 19, 2013.

[21], March 18, 2013.

[22], March 18, 2013.

[23], March 19, 2013.

[24] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), March 18, 2013.

[25], March 19, 2013.

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