UAE | General

Palestinian watches killing of kin on TV

Khalid Saleh Al Nuaimi realised that his cousin and aunt were killed in the latest Israeli assault when he saw their bullet ridden, blood spattered bodies on television.

  • By Sunita Menon
  • Published: 00:00 April 7, 2002
  • Gulf News

Khalid Saleh Al Nuaimi realised that his cousin and aunt were killed in the latest Israeli assault when he saw their bullet ridden, blood spattered bodies on television.

Khalid Abdeh, 37, and his mother Samieh Abdeh, 64, were taken by surprise when the Israeli army stormed their shop in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on April 3 and opened fire.

Speaking to Gulf News from his home in Sharjah, Al Nuaimi, who held a condolence meeting for his cousin and aunt, said: "I came to know about the killings when I saw my cousin Sami Abdeh sitting next to the dead bodies of his brother and mother on Al Jazeera TV. For a while I was speechless and words failed me. I just could not believe what I saw.

"Once the news sunk in, I immediately tracked down another relative who lives nearby and made enquiries.

"It was revealed that both my aunt and cousin were downstairs in their shop doing business when all of a sudden a handful of Israeli armymen barged in with machine guns and fired several rounds killing both of them. Sami Abdeh, the lone survivor of the family, was in their flat which is right above the shop.

"It is unbearable even to comprehend the trauma and shock that Sami is going through. My aunt and cousin are yet to be buried.

"My aunt was widowed and had single-handedly brought up both her sons - Sami and Khalid. When her children grew up to support her, the Israelis killed her. They were simple villagers."

Describing Israelis as butchers, Al Nuaimi said: "Israelis are criminals. I have so many worse words to describe them. But in the end we Palestinians are a determined lot. We will win. The Israelis cannot stop our will with their weapons.

"If the Israelis believe that carrying out widespread violence and bloodshed will destroy us, then they are living in a fool's paradise. Ultimately, the will of the Palestinians and the sacrifices made by Palestinians will yield results.

"They have even locked our President Yasser Arafat who is helpless under the current circumstances. I fear for his life after listening to U.S. President George Bush's speech on TV yesterday when he called for a change in the Palestinian leadership.

"In other words Bush has signalled for the ouster of our President Yasser Arafat.

"Every Palestinian who has sacrificed his life is my family. I am helpless and am not able to go there and fight. It is at times frustrating to just sit down and watch the happenings on television."

Appreciating the efforts taken by the Arab world and the UAE in demonstrating support to the Palestinians, Al Nuaimi said: "We have to do more. The need of the hour for the Arab nation is to gather and mobilise forces to fight against the brutality of the Israelis who are creating havoc in the Middle East. Money and tears alone won't help."

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