Haaretz‘ Amira Hass reports:
How many of the young people protesting Friday at the Gaza border fence hoped the soldiers facing them would pull the trigger and end their lives?
Many. Many more than is reported or than the Palestinians are prepared to or can admit publicly.
“A person who was shot in the leg and had his leg amputated weeps. Not because his leg is gone, but because the soldier didn’t kill him,” said someone who came out of the Gaza Strip for a few days. He told of a 30-year-old man who went up to the fence a few times, was wounded a few times, until he got lucky and the soldier on the other side finally killed him.
What is the ratio between the number of those seeking to continue protecting the principles of the Palestinian struggle – by protesting at the border fence – and the number of those using the patriotic-nationalistic mantle to commit suicide, knowing that Islam prohibits “ordinary” suicide?
Many of them are young people who go to the fence to be wounded, thinking that Hamas will pay them, and then they can pay their debts at the grocery store or pay their rent for two months. It’s true: Hamas pays the injured a one-time payment of $200, I’m told. But only if the injury was serious.
Someone who was slightly injured and went to a Hamas office to ask for money was turned away. Someone else was fortunate – his injury was worth compensation, then he went to the fence to be wounded again, and received compensation again.
Some people deluded themselves that their family would receive large compensation if they were killed, or that payment for injury would come on a monthly basis. They still think it’s like the second intifada, when Saddam Hussein and Iran sent money for these purposes and the Palestinian Authority bore the burden. Those days are gone forever. ….
And now to the women protesters: Since they are few, this could seem like an accusation, or scorn, which will draw protests. But a Palestinian woman who spoke with women who go to the fence says she believes that few of them do it for national reasons, or that gradually the national reasons gave way to personal-economic reasons. Some of them went to be wounded and receive compensation. One went to be close to her son who was protesting. And many went to die – one whose husband refused to give her a divorce, another who was unmarried and felt that society considered her damaged goods, a third who was a victim of family violence …We are familiar with the phenomenon of women in the West Bank who committed suicide-by-soldier.
What Amira Hass isn’t saying is that the ones who want to die will do acts to ensure success – cutting the fence, throwing firebombs at soldiers, whatever.
She does mention that very few of the people who go to the protests are interested in protesting. They go to kill time. Some went for free food provided by Hamas for Ramadan. It is a social event, not a protest.
Which shows that the weekly events at the fence are being reported completely wrong, and have been since they started.
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