Abu Elbeh: a Product of Israeli Intransigence
By Mahmoud Al Abed
English News Editor
As the wretched families of the Israelis killed Wednesday in south Tel Aviv mourn their sons and daughters, they are likely to meditate upon all the episodes that the Israelis and Palestinians have witnessed throughout their bloody conflict. Both parties should, especially the Israelis who virtually have the final say regarding a comprehensive and just settlement.
What led someone like Ala Khalil Abu Elbeh to drive his bus through a crowd of soldiers and civilians, killing at least eight and injuring scores? His family and neighbors describe him as a nervous lonely young man who has nothing to do with politics.
The Israeli authorities also confirmed this. Only a month ago, his license to work in Israel was renewed, simply because the watchful Israeli security service believed his security profile was clear. The Israel police and the PA say he was not a member of any organization.
Despite the statements by Hamas and the unknown Return Brigades claiming responsibility for the attack, the plain fact remains that an ordinary frustrated Palestinian felt his life is worthless, so are, of course, the lives the people who are behind his distress.
For years, he has been waiting for a day when he feels secure and free to wander through his native land with no checkpoints without thousands of restrictions. He wanted to raise his children in peace. He did not want them to skip school in order to join their peers in throwing stones at the occupiers.
He must have woken up from his dreams at the sound of Israeli shells hitting the impoverished camps of Gaza, the killing of the kids in the neighborhood and the assassination of leaders who could be his relatives or neighbors.
He saw his people as a cat pushed back into the corner by Israel’s generals.
He tried to look for a light at the end of the tunnel, but found the image of Sharon with his bloody past and big no’s: no to Jerusalem as Palestinian capital, no to truly independent Palestinian state, no to return of refugees, no to dismantling the cancerous settlements.
Abu Elbeh was a “peaceful” Palestinian the Israelis picked out of angry millions to work inside the Green Line, but they turned him into a miserable man who would do things he has never wanted to do. Anyway, his career was not rewarding at all, due to the successive closures of the territories, says his family.
Does anybody want this? Of course not. The thousands of Abu Elbeh’s look-alikes and Israelis who want peace have never wanted things to reach this stage.
But the answer is simple. Israel can put an end to the blood bath by simply withdrawing from the occupied lands, including east Jerusalem, and the Palestinians should be entitled to self-determination.
The mourners of the dead Israeli young men and women should ask why their state has not done so by now, and question whether Sharon’s national unity government can guarantee them security as long as their long list of no’s are pinned onto the walls of the negotiating room.
- Israeli Security Claims Abu Elbeh Killed Israelis to Prove he was no Collaborator, Fateh Denies
- Palestinian Bus Driver who Killed 8 Israelis Says in Court ‘not Sorry’
- Palestinian Driver Sentenced to Eight Lives for Killing Israelis
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- Barak Announces Sanctions against PA Territories Following Attack in Southern Tel Aviv