The terrorist as stated by Juliano, a genetic phenomenon, as the Israelis perceive a terrorist looking for the 72 virgins in heaven.a religious devil with no past or future. I found the story moving and enlightening and pray this wall be torn down and brotherhood evolve with all the other evolvings of the human race and realize that such evolving will probably not occur with out a seismic upheaval of our consciousness which will in the end occur in any event among all races and kindreds of people.
A Short Story of Suicide
by: Juliano Mer-Khamis (2002-11-29)
Tuesday morning Youssef left the police station in Jenin slamming the entrance
gate behind him.
He looked very troubled. His mother recalled that on that
day he handed in his resignation, not sparing his commanders harsh criticism. He
was very emotional over the phone when he told me that the “dream days” are
over. On his way to the Camp an Apache Helicopter hovered overhead. The
Helicopter was descending and for a moment it looked as if it intended to land
in the schoolyard. A car slammed its brakes round the corner. Just like a raptor
seeing its prey the Apache turned around. The car, a “Subaru”, turned towards
the market and disappeared into an alley leaving a trail of dust behind it. The
pilot was disappointed when he reported he missed the appointed target, while
Youssef sighed in relief. Quickly, he jumped over the school fence looking for a
shelter from another threat: an angry tank approaching him. As he breathed
heavily he stuck to the wall and closely watched the opening of the moving
cannon. And the tank fired a shell. Riham Abu-El-Ward, a 9- year old girl, who
hid under the staircase, was thrown a distance and hit the entrance gate.
Youssef jumped towards her, while screaming and pushing away the curious
onlookers. Riham was still. Her limbs were scattered in all directions. He
collected her to him and walked slowly and strangely towards the hospital.
month later I met him in Jenin not far from his parents’ house. He wore army
clothes, unarmed. For an hour he mourned the girl. The words he said were
repressed and made no sense, not revealing his intentions. We parted.
night, in front of Al-Bash’s house, his friend Ziad parked a stolen Jeep, a red
Mitsubishi Fajaro, and left. Nidal came out of his hideaway in the dark, took
the car keys from the driver’s seat and disappeared. The next day Youssef tried
to persuade his friend Gibril to lend him his M-16 to practice. Gibril refused;
weapons are hard to get in the Camp and are very expensive. Its price falls
between 12 and 18 thousand Shekel. Youssef had no choice but to turn to the
Islamic Jihad Organization and asked to enroll himself. Joining them meant
receiving a rifle without delay and a salary of 1000 Shekel every month. Youssef
decided to commit a suicidal operation. He insisted on writing his own will. In
front of the camera he intentionally left out the name of the organization,
emphasizing his independence. "I take responsibility for my mission" he'd said,
"for the sake of my friends and family". He ended his message with farewell
words and wishes of victory for his people in their struggle against the
occupation. Nidal stood beside him and tried to be funny as he moved his hands
like a bird's wings and twitched his face to look like a virgin. Youssef didn't
laugh. The will was reread.
He once asked me for the meaning of the 72
virgins so widely spoken of among Israelis. "It is easier for the Israelis to
kill you while you look for virgins in heaven" I answered him. "What do you
mean?" he asked. "You are a genetic phenomenon" I answered. "A terrorist, a
religious devil, has no past or future, were born to kill and are thirsty for
blood; your father is an inciter and your mother will joyfully praise your death
at your grave; you are faceless, a number, an enemy "do you understand?"
the morning of the 28th of October 2001, Youssef asked his mother to wash his
face. Filled with worry she asked him if he was ill. "No, mother, I am OK" he
answered. "He looked at me and asked me to have breakfast with him at the table"
she told me. "Didn't you feel anything strange?" I asked her. "I did feel
something, yes", she answered. "He never takes breakfast. While I was preparing
food in the kitchen he gazed at me for a long while. "Bless me mother", he
asked. "Where are you going son", I asked. He didn't reply. I blessed him and
asked him to buy some vegetables on his way back home. Before he left, he again
looked at me for a long time, and then he left. I said to my self "what's wrong
with this boy?" The next day the papers read "Two terrorists in a Mitsubishi
jeep fired at a group of people standing at a bus stop on the Hannassi street in
Hadera. Four women were killed and 44 wounded. Policemen on the scene shot them
dead". The body of Youssef Swetty was never buried.