GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip In a farewell video taped before Mahmoud el Abed embarked on a suicide attack last weekend, he sat holding hands with his mother, who prayed for him to become a "martyr" as she conferred her blessing.
"May every bullet hit its target," she said.
It is customary for suicide attackers to make farewell videos, but the inclusion of the assailant's mother was unusual. In most cases, parents are not informed for fear they will try to stop a planned attack.
But Naima el Abed was right at her son's side, encouraging him.
When news arrived Sunday that her son had died in a shooting attack that killed two Israeli soldiers near a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip, she celebrated by ululating and clapping her hands.
"I wish all my children would be like him and carry out operations like that," she said at the funeral.
There is widespread public support among Palestinians for attacks on Israeli army outposts and settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority has refused to condemn such attacks, saying soldiers and settlers who seize land claimed for a Palestinian state are legitimate targets.