Middle East

Palestinian lawmaker, mother of militants, dies

Hamas militants surround the body of a Hamas militant, lawmaker Mariam Farahat during her funeral at al-Omari Mosque in Gaza City on March 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO MAHMUD HAMS

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: A firebrand Palestinian lawmaker known as the "mother of martyrs" who championed her sons' attacks on Israelis has died.

Health official Ashraf Al-Kidra says lawmaker Mariam Farhat died Sunday in a Gaza hospital of health complications including lung ailments and kidney failure.

Farhat, who was 64, lost three sons in militant activities against Israelis.

In 2002, she recorded a farewell video with her 17-year-old son Mohammed, giving him her blessing the night before a shooting attack in a Jewish settlement. He killed five seminary students before he was shot dead by soldier.

Two other sons were killed by Israeli forces while they were preparing attacks, and another son is in an Israeli prison.

About 4,000 Palestinians attended her funeral, including Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.





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