They can’t run, but oh can they shoot.
Fresh female grads of a Hamas officers’ school in the Gaza Strip recently participated in a special target practice session for the benefit of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas dignitaries.
In footage aired on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV on March 19 and translated by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), the skirt-clad snipers can be seen marching through a stadium in formation — the impression would perhaps be more fearsome if their steps weren’t hindered by the thick, calf-long cloth of their fatigues — under the amused gaze of Haniyeh and apparently hundreds of spectators.
“Now, brothers and sisters,” the announcer intones, “we shall watch a shooting performance by sisters. The men are not the only ones in the battlefield. The sisters, the Muslim women, participate alongside the men in defending the soil of Palestine and our holy places.”
A hushed silence descends on the crowd as two of the women cock their rifles in the standing position, take aim, and fire up at a huge Star of David made of thick blue ribbon, eliciting a smattering of polite applause.
The corners of the star are adorned with curled cardboard pictures of different men. Now, we’re pretty sure the guy on the bottom left is Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister who’s been in a coma since 2006. As for the others: Perhaps you, dear reader, can help us make them out.