Hamas' Minister of Women's Affairs saluted the role of female suicide bombers and human shields, according to a report from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). For Minister Jamila al-Shanti, women's liberation means having an active role in the fighting, both at home and on the battlefield.
"Palestinian society is, by nature, a society of resistance. Resistance does not mean only the bearing of arms. The people who aid those who bear arms are sometimes even stronger than them," she said on al-Aqsa television April 28. "The [Palestinian] woman is the wife of a resistance fighter, or the mother of resistance fighters, or else she herself is on the frontline, or she opens her home to resistance fighters. She is capable of doing everything."
"All means of resistance are available to women. In addition, we have a long list of female martyrdom-seekers [suicide bombers]. Need I say more? If you do the math, the number of male martyrdom-seekers is twice the number of female martyrdom-seekers. So the number of female martyrdom seekers is hardly insignificant."
Al-Shanti's presentation also proves that Hamas deliberately used women as human shields during "Operation Cast Lead" in late 2008 and early 2009. "What does the number of martyrdom women tell us? It means that the women have not left the dangerous places," al-Shanti said. "The women who live along the border did not leave their homes. They say: 'The resistance is here. If I leave, the Zionist enemy will be able to isolate the resistance fighters.' So the women remained in their homes, and serve as shields for these fighters."
The video also promised more activities by women in the future. "We have told the women that each and every one of them should train, with the help of her son or husband, so that she is ready for any operation," she said. "The women are at the service of the military operations and the resistance. There is no realm to which they are denied entry."