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Wednesday, 4 October, 2000, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Eyewitness: Anger and mourning in Gaza
Slain policeman Hatim al-Najar funeral
"Martyr Hatim" carried through the streets of Khan Younis
BBC Arabic Service correspondent Fayed Abu Shammalah in Gaza records his impressions from a day reporting on the uprising that has shaken Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.


We are ready to die for Al-Aqsa, we sacrifice our blood and soul for Al-Quds

Injured Palestinian protester
Amal al-Durrah, the mother of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Durrah, has heard that President Bill Clinton witnessed her son being shot dead on TV and that he was "moved" by what he saw.

"But if he was really moved, why doesn't he intervene and stop the Israelis killing Palestinian children?" she asks.

Women hold picture of death of Muhammad al-Durrah and caption Allahu Akbar
The impact of Muhammad's death has been felt around the world
Muhammad was shot dead by Israeli soldiers at Netzarim junction last Saturday, his father Jamal shielding him with his own body and shouting "stop" after the first bullet hit Muhammad in the leg.

Amal carries a photograph of her lost son and looks down to her small daughter who is standing beside her holding a small red cat.

A group of women are sitting under the family's shelter in the Palestinian refugee camp of al-Bureij to share their sadness.

They eat dates and drink black coffee and speak about the Israeli behaviour in the last few days.


The word "martyr" is spoken, as always at the homes of Palestinians who are killed.

Two Israeli helicopters fly over the camp and from time to time the sound of an explosion is heard.

Another battle is going on at Netzarim junction, near the Jewish settlement of the same name - three more Palestinians killed, about 40 injured, one in a state of clinical death.

'For Al-Aqsa'

There have been reports of a ceasefire, but clashes continued in many places in Gaza and the West Bank.

Netzarim has always been the most dangerous situation.

Bloodstained Palestinian hand at Netzarim
The vow to spill blood is being observed
The Palestinian police were trying to exercise control in the morning, but they failed and hundreds of people pushed past to express their anger and frustration against Ariel Sharon, the right-wing Likud party leader who visited the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem last Thursday.

"We are ready to die for Al-Aqsa. We sacrifice our blood and soul for Al-Quds [Jerusalem in Arabic]".


We are strong by our will and our struggle

Cousin of slain Palestinian
Those were the words of Zaher, a 22-year-old Palestinian lying on a bed at Ashefa Hospital in Gaza after doctors had taken a bullet out of his chest.

His mother came in crying and fell on him kissing his face. The doctors told her he was OK and took her away.

Zaher closed his eyes and said: "This is all for Al-Aqsa."

'Ready to sacrifice'

Thousands of Palestinians carry the body of Hatim al-Najar, a 24-year-old policeman killed in clashes in the West Bank on Monday, through Khan Younis, in the middle of the Gaza Strip.

After burying him in his grave, hundreds of mourners ran towards the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Victim at Netzarim junction
Tuesday's ceasefire provided only a brief respite
"We will not stop fighting even if they agree on ceasefire," a young man shouted angrily and ran to attack the fence with a peace of metal.

He jumped over onto the Israeli side, with many jeeps and two tanks watching the scene from the far distance. Palestinian policemen brought him back into Gaza.

It took the hundreds of police present more than an hour to control the situation and to marshal the demonstrators back to the tent of mourning, to drink coffee and talk about the crisis.

Many were saying it was not right just to demonstrate and get killed.

But Juman al-Najar, the cousin of the martyr, insisted: "We are strong by our will and our struggle, and we are ready to sacrifice until the last drop of our blood for Jerusalem".

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See also:

03 Oct 00 | Middle East
Israel 'sorry' for killing boy
01 Oct 00 | Middle East
Arab world condemns Israel
04 Oct 00 | Middle East
Feelings run high at the UN
02 Oct 00 | Media reports
Israel apportions blame
02 Oct 00 | Middle East
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28 Sep 00 | Middle East
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