"Mohamed Abu Jamal has barely slept in the past 10 days. Every time he closes his eyes he is overwhelmed by the struggle to understand his son's violent actions and to survive the Israeli government's decision to punish his family for those actions... His son's actions came out of nowhere, he says... My son was not religious, he did not go to the mosque to pray - I couldn't believe my child would do such a thing,' Mr Abu Jamal says. But after days of agonising over how someone so loved could commit such an act, he says this: 'When an external force exerts such pressure on a person and makes it impossible for him to live, to earn his daily bread, when you increase the psychological pressure on people, when you add the Gaza war and all those who we saw die, you can feel such despair. All of this combined with his financial difficulties led to this moment... they forced him into a corner, he was suffocating.' 'They' is the Netanyahu government, which Mr Abu Jamal says intentionally pushed Palestinians to the edge with increased land grabs, settlement construction and overwhelming military force. 'Even now they are still pushing, they have yet to return the bodies of my son or his cousin. They cannot commit a crime when they are already dead, so why is the government choosing to punish us?' he asks, crying quietly, his hand covering his face. 'I believe in peace, I believe in a two-state solution but I also believe in dignity for my people, and there is no dignity here'." (Home demolitions wreak vengeance on offenders' families, Ruth Pollard, Sydney Morning Herald, 29/11/14)
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