In the West Bank city of Tul Karm, everyone from Yasser Arafat’s governor to the remnants of the Al-Aqsa Brigades says the Palestinian uprising is as good as over
That is a rather amazing statement. It certainly is not what the major news outlets spew out day after day, lauding the “militants” who blow up Israeli women and children.
So, let us go see why the end is near for the uprising. I doubt the U.N. is going to be getting the credit.
Not long ago Aweideh and his comrades from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades — the armed cells, affiliated with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, that sprung up with the intifada — would have been swaggering through the streets of this West Bank market town, inspiring admiration in some residents, terrorizing others and plotting what they call “military operations” against nearby Jewish settlements or Israeli cities that lie over the Green Line, the pre-1967 border that skirts Tul Karm to the west.
But the armed men are not walking around here anymore, certainly not in broad daylight. The few of them left after the army’s frequent raids, targeted killings and arrests are said to be feeling hunted and alone. And while predictions of calm times ahead may be premature, many here are already declaring Tul Karm’s intifada over.
Israel is specifically targeting terrorist thugs like Aweideh and preventing them from killing hundreds of innocents civilians is leading to less violence. Taking out the heads of the terrorists, is preventing them from masterminding more attacks, while minimizing innocent casualties. Putting up the wall stops the free flow of weapons and terrorists. Apparently selective violence can create peace.
Aweideh, who used to work in a picture framer’s shop, insists that there is still an intifada in Tul Karm. “Only two days ago soldiers opened fire on one of our guys,” he notes, adding that 10 days ago there were six more “martyrs” from the Qata’eb in the Nur Shams camp adjacent to the town. But ultimately his protests only serve to confirm what the others are saying. Asked what exactly the Qata’eb want, he replies: “All we want now is to defend ourselves. That’s it. Nobody is giving us any hope or any security.”
Poor baby. All you want to do is kill all the Jews, so that you can just go back to your picture job. And that mean old Arafat won’t promise to protect you when you go out to shoot babies and blow up buses.
Residents of Tul Karm are no longer willing to provide refuge for the armed men in their houses, local sources say, for fear of ending up on the army’s demolition list.
I guess the regular people have figured you guys for losers, and now don’t have to support your idiotic “war”.
Furthermore Aweideh, his fingers nervously drumming on the back of his chair, an eye fixed on the door, reveals that it is not only the Israeli actions that are curbing the militants. “The Palestinian Authority used to support us, but we’ve had no funding from them for the past two months,” he claims. “They make promises, but nothing ever materializes. The PA wants to calm the situation, but Sharon doesn’t,” he concludes.
I am shocked that the PA supports terrorists! Shocked! You say that the money has dried up? Could it be that the European Union finally figured out that Arafat was stealing all the money and giving it to scum like you? Or keeping it for himself?
The PA wants things to calm down so they can fill their pockets with U.N. and EU money, and hold on to their little rubber stamp jobs in Arafat’s tiny fiefdom.
Sharon has decided not to put up with your cowardly attacks, and fake peace offerings. He doesn’t value stability enough to keep sacrificing his people.
Aweideh attributes the difficulty in launching attacks to the recently constructed security barrier that now seals Tul Karm off from Israel, as well as the strict checkpoint regime that controls movement between the city and the rest of the West Bank and “the pressure put on us by the PA.”
I knew that the wall would work, when I saw all the US and British “peace activists” and “militants” trying to cut through it. The huge reduction in terrorist infiltrations and attacks since it was built, and your own impotence, proves I was right.
“Everybody’s either dead or in prison,” says Nidal Jallad, who is hanging around the store shortly before Aweideh makes his entry. “It’s over. We’ve had enough. All we want now is for the prisoners to come home.”
I have been against many of the recent prisoner exchanges that Israel made. All Israel got was some bodies of their soldiers, and in return killers got let out to continue fighting in the uprising. So, I’d hope that anyone convicted and in jail, stays there for a long, long time.
One of Nidal’s brothers, a Hamas activist, was caught in March 2003 transporting an explosive belt from Nablus in a car with three others, including the would-be suicide bomber. He is now serving a 17-year sentence in Beersheba jail.
Activist, right. I am heartily sick of Western journalists trying to dress up the actions of the Palestinians by giving them neutral sounding titles. Try murder, terrorist, and criminal. Those words accurately reflect the reality of what Hamas, and Fatah and the “militants” are.
Another brother, Nidal says, was shot by an Israeli army sniper during a curfew and is just starting to walk again after four operations. Nidal claims his brother was only outside because soldiers had taken him from his house, dropped him off near the hospital, then ordered him to walk home..
Quite the family you have there, Nidal, so of course we believe your story. No logic holes in it at all. Ok, I can’t resist pointing out some. Why would they drive your brother “near the hospital”, and then have a long distance sniper shoot him? If they wanted him dead, then they would have dragged him out of the house, and shot him on the spot, waited for him to die, and left him there. Why let him crawl to the hospital? Why let him be treated at all? Isn’t it more likely that as a Hamas member he was out after curfew doing something illegal, and he got shot?
Ok, let’s go on with your story, I’m sure you won’t say anything more silly things.
Nidal Jallad, who says he works with the PA security forces, is also one of 12 partners who opened a garden restaurant near the Tul Karm Town Hall during the good years of the mid-90s. It’s been closed for the past three years and only operates as a mourning venue “to receive condolence calls for martyrs,” he says. “Many people still come. We offer them food. They can’t pay but we serve them anyway.”
Excellent, a member of the PA security forces has two terrorists brothers. That really makes me think the PA has an unbiased interest in stopping terror attacks on Israel.
I hate to break it to you Nidal, but if the PA had accepted the peace plan during the mid 90’s you’d have your own government, tons of foreign aid, and probably have a decent economy. Your leaders, and imams decided instead that dead Jews were better than a live State.
After 15 minutes at the store, Hani Aweideh looks like he wants to be on his way before the army gets wind that he’s out and about. Now that Tul Karm is relatively quiet, I ask him, if Israel were to stop its operations here, would you agree to do the same? “We’ll stop our operations,” he says, “but we won’t hand over our weapons. Not to Israel, nor to the PA.”
Aweideh, the gun makes you feel like a big man, instead of the unemployed, pathetic loser that you really are. Just like the men who run the PA feel like big shots talking tough about Israel. And if both man and government would drop the tough guy act, and it is an act, then some real progress could be made towards peace.
The AK-47 goes back in the plastic bag, and Aweideh speeds off again. Everyone in the store breathes a sigh of relief. Nowadays, around these parts, the novice militia leader seems to be viewed as more of a liability than a hero.
Funny, that’s exactly how I think of Arafat, as a liability. It seems to me that his “people” might be coming around to that view point. Perhaps not today, but soon that false bravado and hatred for Israel won’t be enough to carry people along. Then illusion of the Intifada will truly be over.