Mariam Farhat, a Palestinian lawmaker known as the “mother of martyrs” after three of her sons died in attacks against Israel, one of which was a suicide mission that she encouraged in a homemade video, died on Sunday in Gaza City. She was 64.
Ms. Farhat, who was also known as Umm Nidal, had liver and bowel diseases, according to the Web site of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, which announced her death.
A photograph on the site showed what was said to be Ms. Farhat’s body, wrapped in a Hamas flag, with an automatic weapon lying across it. Thousands of people, including top Hamas officials, attended her funeral on Sunday. The Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, spoke at a service in her honor, according to al-Qassam.
Ms. Farhat was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006. Four years earlier, her 17-year-old son, Mohammad, was shot to death after he stormed an Israeli settlement with an automatic rifle and explosives, killing five students. Shortly before the attack, Ms. Farhat made a video in which she appeared with Mohammad to show support for what he was about to do.
“I wish I had 100 boys like Mohammad,” she once said. “I’d sacrifice them for the sake of God.”
Two more of Ms. Farhat’s sons, Nidal and Rawad, were later killed in clashes with Israel.
“I brought them up to be martyrs,” she said in an interview with National Geographic Television several years ago, “to become martyrs for the name of Allah.”
Nidal Farhat helped make Hamas rockets that were used to bomb Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. When he died, he left behind a 4-year-old son, Imad. Ms. Farhat told The New York Times in 2004 that she had assured Imad that he would be reunited with his father.
“You will be a martyr one day,” Ms. Farhat said she had told Imad, “and then you will go and see your dad.”