Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Martyrdom of Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh

Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh's dream was to break out of the Gaza Ghetto and walk free on the occupied Palestinian land which beckoned to him from the other side of the wire. So his Israeli prison guards hacked off his legs. Undaunted, he continued to defy them - on his stumps.

As long as he had a hand which could pick up a stone, and an arm to fling it at the enemy with, his resistance against those who would keep this lion in his cage would continue. However, since any act of resistance, no matter how small, was utterly intolerable to his jailers, they shot him in the head:

"The narrow streets of the 70 acres of Gaza City's densely crowded Beach refugee camp were never so quiet as today. The poor camp on the western side of the city is famous for starting life early every day, with the fuss of street vendors, donkey cart drivers and the vegetable market, which is filled with customers by 6:30 am.

"All of these faded away this morning, one day after Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, 29, was shot dead during skirmishes with the Israeli army east if the city.

"In front of his old family home, Abu Thurayeh's friends began to set up a condolence tent for his relatives and neighbours. His 27-year-old cousin, Mahmoud Abu Thurayeh, was delivering the chairs shortly before mourners arrived. 'Ibrahim has always been the first to offer help to set up such tents for the martyrs of the camp,' Mahmoud said. 'But today it seems he will not, forever.'

"Ibrahim had lost his legs in an Israeli attack on Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. He was injured in 2008 by an Israeli helicopter that targeted him after he took down an Israeli flag along the border and raised a Palestinian one.

"Since that time, he has been active in the clashes - until he was killed with a bullet above his eye fired by an Israeli soldier.

"About 150 Palestinians were injured and four were killed near the border fence in Gaza on a day of clashes that erupted also in the West Bank in protest of the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"In a video clip two days before his death, Ibrahim said he had come to participate in the clashes at Nahal Oz (east of Gaza) because he wanted to cross the occupied land on the other side of the barbed wire border just once in his life. But his dream ended with the fatal shot.

"'The Israeli army is cowardly and does not appear to fight except behind the concrete cubes,' he added in the video. 'We only have small stones that reach only 50 meters, and every day I come, crawling on my hands. I am here to deliver a message to those soldiers: 'This is our land and we will not give up. The United States should withdraw its declaration over Jerusalem'." (Ibrahim 'the half-bodied', an icon of Gaza skirmishes, loses his other half for Jerusalem, Ahmad Kabariti,, 16/12/17)

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