Suja’iyya, Gaza Strip, May 2 – A local couple fell into fierce argument this evening, neighbors report, over whether their preschool-aged child is old enough to participate in violence against Israel, with the father insisting the boys can serve as a human shield at any age, and the mother retorting that no offspring of hers is going to join the Great Return March unless he has grown enough to hurl firebombs the distance necessary to kill a Jew.
Residents in the apartment adjacent that of Ali and Buthayna Hussein related Wednesday that despite agreeing on the value of violent confrontation with the Zionists and on making the latter look bad by placing children in harm’s way and blaming Israel for the resulting casualties, the couple differs on the weight each tactic carries in practice. Those differences, note the neighbors, sparked the third such voluble exchange between Ali and Buthayna since the current wave of protests along the border with Israel began several weeks ago.
“Ali is six years older than Buthayna, but she can hold her own in an argument with him,” observed Ahmad, who lives next door and is a second cousin to each half of the couple. “Just because he’s in Hamas, that doesn’t intimidate her – she knows where the glory is, and she’s not going to settle for some indirect martyrdom for her baby when not so long from now, little Yahya will be big enough to kill Jews or die in the attempt, which is much more honorable.”
“Yeah but we need him as a shahid now,” countered Wafa, another neighbor, echoing Ali’s contentions. “You can’t just wait until Yahya grows up to become another bomb engineer instrumental in killing dozens of Jews on buses, like his namesake Yahya Ayyash. These are desperate times, when the world has begun to care about people other than Palestinians, and someone’s got to step up to reassert our proper place atop the headlines. If that means stepping in front of a rock-throwing, fence-cutting, or firebomb-hurling compatriot to take a bullet, so be it.”
“Buthayna has dreams,” responded Fadi, another resident of the neighborhood who overheard the Husseins’ argument. “It’s insensitive to her to demand Yahya die as a human shield – there are literally tens of thousands of other babies and toddlers in this area whose parents would be more than happy to sacrifice them for this cause. Leave Buthayna alone and let her continue raising the boy to become a full-fledged mujahid.”
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