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BBC News Front Page | World | In Depth | Israel and the Palestinians
Voices of Conflict
Sleiman Shimlawi: West Bank farmer
Efrat Gamlieli: Jerusalem resident
Nidhal: Youth on the Gaza Strip
Asher Susser: Israeli academic
Nakhle Beshara: Doctor in Nazareth
Gilad Ben Nun: Israeli peace activist
Paul Adams: BBC correspondent
David Wilder: Jewish settler in Hebron
Ghada Karmi: Palestinian academic
Nidhal
Nidhal is an 18-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza strip. He has taken part in protests against the Israeli army, and seen fellow demonstrators killed and hurt. He is in his last year of school and hopes to join the Palestinian Police Academy. BBC News Online spoke by phone to Nidhal at his home in Gaza city.

BBC News Online: What is the aim of the daily confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli army?

Nidhal: The aim is to liberate Jerusalem and pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque. And we want to free our land and the land of our forefathers of settlers.

How can stone throwers hope to beat the well trained and heavily armed Israeli Defence Force?

Our stones hurt the Jews. When young men confront the Israeli soldiers, they shoot at them, and this draws more young men who come out to help him and to fight for the Aqsa and their land and their friends.

We gather the stones and we use slingshots and slings, which we make, and we try to hit the soldiers. And thanks be to God, good will come of it.

They are armed to the teeth. We put our faith in God and good will come of it.

Many of the casualties are very young. Why are young boys going to confront the Israeli army?

People of all ages are going to fight. No-one can stop the boys.

When facing the Israeli soldiers, aren't you afraid for your life?

No we don't feel any fear. We feel courageous and strong. We would be proud to die as martyrs, and our family would be proud. Martyrs go to heaven to be with God.

I've seen people be killed and get hurt. When this happens, some shout "There is no God but God, and Mohammad is his prophet," and others shout "God is great". This puts the fear in the Jews and they retreat. All the protesters are brave and they are ready to confront the Israeli soldiers, even for a hundred years, to the last drop of blood.

How do the confrontations and protests occur? Are they organised?

There is no real organisation. When someone is martyred and he is buried, the young men want to express their feelings, their anger. So they gather and they go off to protest.

Also protesters gather after school and set off to confront the Israelis. We see the pictures on the television, seeing people being killed and injured and we go to face the enemy who is on our land.

What do your parents think? Aren't they afraid for you?

They're not afraid. They're ready to come and fight with us. They're ready to die with us and allow Arabs to raise their heads high.

What have the protests achieved so far in your view?

We have achieved a great deal. We have stopped the settlers from coming out of their settlements. They are running back to Israel.

All we are missing are some weapons. But thanks be to God, our strength comes from God and from our faith.

[The phone was then passed to Nidhal's mother.] Are you not afraid for the lives of your boys? Why do you allow them to go out to confront the Israeli troops?

No I'm not afraid for them. I am their mother and I go with them. I went for five days running to the Netzarim area and then went to Khan Younis. We help them gather stones and get them water and juice, whatever the young men want. I protested in the first intifada and was arrested by the Israeli police. I have nine boys and all of them are ready to fight for the Aqsa, thank God.

Stone throwing
No we don't feel any fear. We feel courageous and strong. We would be proud to die as martyrs, and our family would be proud. Martyrs go to heaven to be with God
In Arabic
real 28k
Girl at confrontation scene
There is no real organisation. When someone is martyred and he is buried, the young men want to express their feelings, their anger. So they gather and they go off to protest
In Arabic
real 28k
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