Tuesday, December 12, 2006

a boy named peace- the murder of my neighbor's nephews

I have three nephews in Germany. My dear friend and neighbor Mohamed had three nephews in Gaza.

Mohamed is a leftist Palestinian who does not have much love for the Gaza Strip. He dreams of leaving this place and making somewhere else his home. Mohamed is a law student and in charge of security at one of the universities in Gaza City, he is only 24 but already in charge. Last night I called him, his voice was quieter than usual and I asked him what was wrong. His three nephews had been killed.

Osama, Ahmed and Salam were murdered on their way to school.

Mohamed spent Sunday night with the boys and their family, Monday morning they were gone. When the boy's mother was informed of the attack she exclaimed, “all of my children are dead.” Somehow she knew.
She told Mohamed, “if only they could have left me one of them to hold at night.”

At 7 am on Monday morning 70 bullets riddled the car that was taking the children to school. All three died immediately. Najeeb, a tailor working near the incident said he came out of his shop, saw the bodies of the children being carried out of the car and left immediately. “One cannot handle such scenes.”

Since that time a tension has filled the air of Gaza City. Weapons are everywhere; the streets are packed with cars trying to get past burning tires in main intersection. The boys’ father, a former chief interrogator, has many enemies and twice attempts had been made on his life. Yet, never before have children been targeted this way.

This is one of my neighbors. I found him by the side of the road watching the funeral near our building. With dark smoke floating into the sky and an overwhelming noise from political rallies in the air I wondered what was going through his head.