JERUSALEM, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The Palestinian suicide bomber who killed four Israelis last week did so to atone for adultery.
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot first reported the woman, 22-year-old Reem Raiyshi, was compelled to carry out the attack as atonement for betraying her husband.
The mother of an 18-month-old daughter and a 3-year-old son blew herself up at a Gaza Strip border crossing Wednesday, killing three Israeli soldiers and a private security guard.
According to the report based on Israeli military sources, Raiyshi's husband is an operative of the militant Hamas movement and urged her to carry out the suicide mission, the Washington Times reported Tuesday.
Israeli security officials said the attack marked the first time Hamas had used a female bomber, part of an evolving belief that women who are disgraced by sexual activity outside marriage can "purify" themselves by becoming "martyrs."
Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin told reporters in the Gaza Strip Monday because male bombers were increasingly being caught, the group would look to women to step up and fulfill their "obligations."