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Girl tries to blow herself up in the hospital that treated her

A young Palestinian woman, arrested on her way to blow herself up in an Israeli hospital, has been speaking about why she wanted to be a suicide bomber.

Twenty-year-old Waffa Samir Ibrahim Bass, from Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, was caught as she attempted to cross into Israel at the Erez crossing on Monday (June 20). The woman, a burns victim, tried to use her permission to travel to the southern Israeli city of Beersheba for medical treatment.

Israeli soldiers noticed her acting suspiciously and stopped her. Bass was taken to a private storage room where she was ordered to strip. According to the army she had knee-high pants rigged with approximately 10 kilos (22 lb) of explosives.

"Some believe in peace and others do not believe in peace,"Bass told reporters in the prison. "I believe in death. Because this is my right. I believe in death, especially when it is done in the name of God." Asked if she believes in peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Bass said that "as long as you (Israelis) do not end your occupation of the Palestinian territories, then there will not be any peace. There are settlements. Did you withdraw (from Palestinian occupied land)? You did not withdraw. They say they will withdraw. When you withdraw, let us know and then we will stop blowing ourselves up."

Regarding any sense of regret, Bass cried and said that she was free just 24 hours earlier. "I remember what I was like yesterday and what I have becometoday. Yesterday I was a bird flying in the sky. Believe me, I am regretting this with all my heart. I hope the Israeli authorities will not sentence me to death. I hope that they will pardon me. Yesterday I wanted martyrdom, and today I am just wishing for Israel not to sentence me to death," Bass said with tears in her eyes.

Bass said she is a member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and was ordered by the group to blow herself up in Soroka hospital in Beersheba. The brigades, part of the mainstream Fatah faction, declined comment.

The army sent in an automated robot and blew up the explosives in a controlled explosion. Israeli soldiers secured the crossing before allowing Palestinian civilians to move through. Army spokesperson Sharon Feingold said there was a distinction between Palestinian residents and civilians and those involved in terrorism. She said Palestinian terror organisations were using and abusing innocent Palestinians and turning them into human bombs. A suicide bomber last struck in Israel on February 25, killing five people outside at a Tel Aviv nightclub, two weeks after Israel and the Palestinian Authority declared a ceasefire.