Umm Nidal

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Maryam Mohammad Yousif Farhat (Arabic: مريم محمد يوسف فرحات‎), or Mariam Farahat (c. 1948 – 17 March 2013), popularly known as Umm Nidal (Arabic: أم نضال‎), "the mother of Nidal", was one of Hamas' candidates elected in the Palestinian legislative election, 2006. Three of her six sons performed Hamas suicide attacks against Israel. The word "Nidal" in Arabic language is a secular term, meaning "struggle", "effort" or "work".


She attracted public attention after being filmed advising her 17-year old son, Muhammad Farhat, for his March 2002 operation against Israeli settlers. After entering the Gaza Strip former settlement of Atzmona, opening fire on the Israeli students and throwing hand grenades at the school where they were studying, killing five students and wounding 23 others, he was shot dead. Upon hearing of her son's death, she proclaimed "Allahu Akbar!" and gave out boxes of halva and chocolates.[1][2][3] Her eldest son, Nidal, was killed in February 2003 by bombs planted by Israeli intelligence. A third son, Rawad, died in 2005 in an Israeli airstrike on his car carrying Qassam rocket.

Attitude toward martyrdom[edit]

In an interview published in both the Israeli Arab weekly Kul al-Arab and the London-based Arabic language daily Al-Quds al-Arabi, Umm Nidal said she was proud of her sons. In her December 2005 interview, Umm Nidal said:

"I protect my sons from defying Allah, or from choosing a path that would not please Allah. This is what I fear, when it comes to my sons. But as for sacrifice, Jihad for the sake of Allah, or performing the duty they were charged with - this makes me happy."
"They are all occupiers. Besides, don't forget that they all serve in the army. They are all considered soldiers. They are all reserve soldiers."
"They are all occupiers, and we must fight them by any legitimate means."
"All means are legitimate as long as the occupation continues."
"There is no difference. This is Islamic religious law. I don't invent anything. I follow Islamic religious law in this. A Muslim is very careful not to kill an innocent person, because he knows he would be destined to eternal Hell. So the issue is not at all simple. We rely on Islamic religious law when we say there is no prohibition on killing these people."

"The word 'peace' does not mean the kind of peace we are experiencing. This peace is, in fact, surrender and a shameful disgrace. Peace means the liberation of all of Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. When this is accomplished - if they want peace, we will be ready. They may live under the banner of the Islamic state. That is the future of Palestine that we are striving towards."[4]


On 29 June 2002, Professor Sari Nusseibeh stated in an Al-Jazeera interview with Umm Nidal: "When I hear the words of Umm Nidal, I recall the hadith stating that 'Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.'"[5]


Farhat died on 17 March 2013, aged 64, from multiple organ failure, in Gaza. Her funeral was attended by 4000 Palestinians and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.[6]


  1. ^ Palestinian Legislative Council Candidate and Mother of Three Hamas Terrorists Umm Nidal Farhat: 'Israelis are Not Civilians and There are No Prohibitions on Killing Them; I Am Willing to Sacrifice My Ten Sons'; Interview with Dream2 TV aired on 21 December 2005. MEMRI TV
  2. ^ Natan, Yoel (2006-01-01). Moon-o-theism, Volume I of II. Yoel Natan. pp. 261–262. ISBN 9781438299648. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Bynum, Rebecca (February 8, 2006). "The Iconoclast: Spencer: Mother from Hell". New English Review. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ Interview aired by Dream2 TV on December 21, 2005
  5. ^ Meet Candidate "Martyr Mom" by Andrew G. Bostom at FrontPageMagazine, 5 January 2006
  6. ^ Barzak, Ibrahim (17 March 2013). "Palestinian Lawmaker, Mother of Militants, Dies". ABC News. AP. 

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