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Signs of the Times for Tue, 04 Apr 2006

Signs Editorial:

Remarks collected by Silvia Cattori from Omar, a resident of Gaza
3 April 2006
S.C.: What causes you the most suffering at the moment in Gaza?

We're suffering the most from the noise of the cannon fire and the deafening bombs that explode all night long as well as during the day in the area Israel calls the "No Go Zone", north of Betlaya, in the east of Gaza.

S.C.: Are the new authorities appealing to Europe after each aggression to force Israel to stop murdering you?

Our authorities have already made thousands of appeals to the international community, to the United States, to Europe, all in vain. And now that we have been labeled as a "terrorist" people for having voted for Hamas, nobody even wants to talk to us. So, we are punished for having democratically elected a government they qualify as "terrorist".

S.C.: How is the population living with this punishment? Will they end up by turning against these authorities that the world wishes to isolate?

No, I don't think so. Never. Never.

S.C.: What exactly happened on Friday, March 31, 2006 in Gaza?

A booby-trapped car exploded at the moment that the vehicule of Abu Youssef Al Qouqa, the chief of the Salah Ed Deen brigades passed by. His assassination was followed by serious incidents.

S.C.: So it wasn't an air attack by Israel?

It occurred in the same way as the assassination of a Jihad chief two months ago.

S.C.: Was it then a joint assassination by Israeli services and Palestinian services? If yes, are militants designated by Israel now doubly threatened?

Exactly! As a people, we are not directly targeted by these assassinations. But the leaders of Hamas or Jihad wanted by Israel, they are more than ever threatened.

S.C.: Threatened from the interior?

Threatened by Israel, but unfortunately with the collaboration of the Palestinians.

S.C.: Do these collaborators have a name?

After the assassination of their leader, Abu Abeer, the spokesman of the Salah Ed Deen brigades accused Mohammed Dalhan and Rachida Bouskaf, the chief of preventative security, as well as Mash' Harawi, a member of Fatah, and Tareq Abou Rajap, a member of the secret service. I think Abu Abeer made a serious mistake by calling them by their names.

S.C.: An error for himself?

For himself and for the people. He should never have cited the names of these people. He will without a doubt be assassinated himself. Right afterwards, they shot at him, but they missed. This declaration lit the fuse. During the funeral of Abu Youssef Al Quoqa, there was fighting in the street between the people of Abu Abeer and the bodyguards of Nabil Tammous, who belong to the death squads originally created by Mohammed Dalhan. Three people were killed, twenty were wounded. People from Hamas intervened to separate them and were able to stop the outbreak.

S.C.: What will the Hamas government do to avoid other incidents?

They announced that it was no longer possible to carry firearms without authorization.

S.C.: So Mohammed Dahlan's men have to follow it?

Yes, they'll no longer be above the law. We all hope here that these people will be judged as fast as possible.

S.C.: Do you think the people targeted will allow themselves to be arrested and judged without a fight?

You know, people have had enough of all these traitors, of all these collaborators, and of these "death squads". These people continue to play with the lives of the people. They have poisoned the lives of honest Palestinians for years. Everyone hopes the present government will succeed in punishing them according to the law.

S.C.: Are you saying that people are ready to denounce the named collaborators?

There are collaborators who are known - one is even a general - but until now they have been protected by people in the ex-Palestinian Authority. Some well-known collaborators that are, unfortunately, protected by Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

S.C.: Until today?

Now that the government is in place, we are certain that the new authorities are not going to continue to protect them. I think that, if the case is opened, they'll flee to Israel or elsewhere abroad.

S.C.: What you are saying is very serious. Outside, the representatives of the old authority continue to speak of the necessity of respecting the Oslo Accords!

The representatives of the old authority do not live under the permanent threat of Israel, but in luxurious residences; their way of life absorbs millions of dollars that we are lacking here. They are far removed from the real suffering of our people who live under terror. Israel wants to negotiate by dictat and we should obey, and recognize its existence while it denies ours? I hope that the day will come when these people who came to terms with the occupier will realize what it means to live in the north of Gaza, in Jenin, in Hebron, in Naplouse, constantly under Israeli attack.

I hope the day will come when these people, who collaborated in one way or another, will be judged and imprisoned; and that God helps our government protect the Palestinians as best he can.

Translated by
l'original en français

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