Plenty of debate followed the infamous prisoner swap that led to Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit's inevitable freedom. Now, Wafa al-Biss, 26, one of the more than 1,000 freed Palestinian prisoners is making headlines after the failed suicide bomber told children in Gaza that she hopes they will follow her lead.
According to JTA, she said, “I hope you will walk the same path we took and, God willing, we will see some of you as martyrs." Al-Biss was apparently speaking to children who came to her home the day after she was released.
As if her call weren't disturbing enough, the kids reportedly chanted back, pledging their allegiance to Palestine. "We will give souls and blood to redeem the prisoners. We will give souls and blood for you, Palestine," they allegedly said in unison.
See, al-Biss had tried to blow herself up -- an action for which she was serving a 12-year prison term. She was arrested back in 2004 after Israeli soldiers saw that she was walking oddly. After she aroused suspicions, they subsequently found 22 pounds of explosives sewn into her underwear.
At the time, al-Biss had been given a permit by Israel to leave Gaza for treatment at an Israeli hospital for burns she sustained in an accident in her home in Gaza's Jebaliya refugee camp.
In an interview with Reuters, al-Biss claims that she was planning to blow herself up, but her detonator malfunctioned. "I was about to push the button to become a martyr," al-Biss said in a telephone interview, recalling the day of her failed attack. "An error prevented me from doing so."
And in a startling show of lessons clearly not learned, the would-be suicide bomber has no plans of stopping her dangerous antics. "We will pursue our struggle and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu] knows that," she clamed. "Arrests will not deter us from our strong battles and confrontation in the face of Zionist arrogance in the land of Palestine."
Like al-Biss, other released prisoners have also said they have no remorse. Among those freed were more than 280 who had been sentenced to life terms for attacks that killed several hundred Israelis.
In the debate over the swap, opponents in Israel warned that the released prisoners could unleash a new wave of violence. However, the vast majority of the released prisoners were sent to Gaza, tightly sealed by Israel, or into exile. In the West Bank, the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have clamped down on militants in recent years.