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Front Page |  In Depth |  Middle East |  Voices from the conflict 
Voices from the conflict
Introduction
Yonatan Yagodovsky
Israeli emergency worker
Mahmoud Shahin
Palestinian from Bethlehem
Ron
Israeli army reservist
Mohammed Bakri
Israeli Arab doctor
Yehuda Aslan
Israeli restaurant owner
Gila Svirsky
Israeli peace activist
Rifka Goldschmidt
Israeli settler in Gaza
Map of Gaza Strip

Palestinian militant
Abu al-Abed is a member of the Izzedine al-Qasim Brigade, the Military wing of Hamas. He is 24-years-old and has lived in Gaza all his life.

Every human being who has his land invaded, all he possesses taken and his rights denied has a right to resist. He has a right to do this by any means he has. The military operations we undertake do not lead immediately to the freedom of Palestinians, but are a step in that direction.

I support the suicide operations inside Israel. We never initiate the violence. Our operations are always in response to a particular crime committed against us.

Israeli society is a militarised society, not a civilian one. People say that we are killing Israeli civilians, and I respond that there are Palestinian children being killed while trying to get food for their families or going to school.
If I am called upon to conduct such an operation, like many others, I will not hesitate. There are so many examples of this. Recently children have taken up such operations. They were 13 or 14-year-olds. They attacked the Netzarim settlement and became martyrs during the operation. They bought knives with their own money and they went. This is proof that I am not alone in this.

My family support me in this. Let me make this clear. We are more ready to accept death than the life we lead. And this goes for all Palestinians. We have no security. The word 'suicide' is not important. We do not see it as suicide. It is resistance.

Masked man We fought and resisted to get back our land for seven years during the first intifada. Then the Oslo process came along which we gave a chance, but it gave us nothing. We will not go back to Oslo, only for Israel to invade our land again in a matter of hours. This is a war of liberation, and it is a war to the end.

What I mean by saying we seek death more than we seek this life is that everything we do is an attempt to achieve happiness and peace in our land and to regain control over our holy places.

The Palestinians do not want a civil war between us and the Palestinian Authority, but we will not go back to how it was before the intifada 1,800 martyrs have not died to just go back to where we were. Before the intifada Israel did not observe any of the agreements it had signed with us. Things must move forward to our liberation. Without that there is no solution.

There can be no such thing as an Israeli state, it is a Palestinian state and our rights must be, and will be, granted. Maybe not in this generation, or to the next or to the one after that, but in the end we will get our rights completely.
Of the Palestinians who do not support these operations I say what has helped you? Peace? We tried the peace process for seven years without gaining anything.

Israeli society is a militarised society, not a civilian one. From a very young age, 12 or 13-years-old they start the military training. At the age of 17 they go into the army. This is for both men and women. People say that we are killing Israeli civilians, and I respond that there are Palestinian children being killed while trying to get food for their families or going to school. The Koran says 'He who commits aggression against you, you may commit aggression against him in the same manner.' So this is our right. We respond in kind.

Resistance can take several forms - armed struggle, rockets, mortars, suicide bombings, martyrdom attacks. We use all the means we have in response to Israel's military strength.

Palestinian Militants on parade in the Gaza Strip The purely military measure is not the only measure of strength. Look at what happened in Lebanon. Even in Vietnam, by purely military measures, the US army should have won overwhelmingly, but in the end the Vietnamese achieved their aims.

Our military operations, in the first intifada, created a pressure on Israel and drove it to recognise the PLO and to the Oslo process. Our current operations have not achieved as much yet, but we can see that Israeli society is afraid, and more than a million Israelis have left the country. These are achievements, and if we continue on this path Israel will fall soon.

If you had your house invaded and the invaders moved into your house, would you accept anything less than removing them from your home? We will not accept the creation of two states in Palestine, because Palestine is ours. If they had bought this land, they would have a right to it, but they took it.

We are more ready to accept death than the life we lead. And this goes for all Palestinians. We have no security. The word 'suicide' is not important. We do not see it as suicide. It is resistance.
There can be no such thing as an Israeli state, it is a Palestinian state and our rights must be, and will be, granted. Maybe not in this generation, or to the next or to the one after that, but in the end we will get our rights completely.

We would accept a transitional agreement or initiative under which there is a ceasefire between us and an Israeli entity, but we do not accept a two state solution as the basis for lasting peace. As a combatant, I would accept a ceasefire in return for Israel giving up Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but we can never recognise the state of Israel.



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