Palestinian Rx: Arab Israelis

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 12, 2003 | Go to article overview

Palestinian Rx: Arab Israelis


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The only group of people that can stop the bloodshed between the Palestinians and Israelis are those stuck in the middle: the Arab Israelis.

Syria may continue providing a safe haven and support to several terrorist groups and their training camps, such as Ahmad Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ). But bombing one of their weapons caches just because this time around it was the Islamic Jihad will not stop the next suicide bomber.

Arab Israelis have been killed and maimed, their businesses destroyed, their families torn apart - by their own people. Palestinian terrorist groups have in the past three years of violence often targeted cafes and stores that were owned or run by Arab Israelis. In the most recent attack on an Arab-Israeli owned restaurant in Haifa last weekend, four Arabs were killed. Hana Francis and his cousin, Sharbal Matar of Fassouta village, were both waiters at the restaurant. Matar was the owner's nephew. The owner lost a blood relative and his livelihood in one instant.

Hassan Ismail Tawatha of Jisr a-Zarqa, the father of three small children, was killed last May while on his way to study electronics at a mall in Afula. He had wanted to improve his chances of getting a better job to support his family by taking classes in his spare time. He was a soccer coach in his village of 10,000, and Jews and Arabs alike gathered there to mourn the loss of a role model.

Ghalab Tawil of Shuafat was killed at Karni Crossing in the Gaza Strip on May 18, 2003, when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on those going to work in Israel. Tawil was on his way to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem, where he worked as a cleaner in order to be close to his 13-year-old daughter, Iman, who was being treated there for leukemia. He had wanted to be by her side every day for the five months she was hospitalized. One of his wives told the press after the attack that "anyone who explodes himself near innocent civilians is a murderer and a criminal." Tawil left behind two wives and nine children.

Another Arab-Israeli man left behind a wife and baby - and his wife was due to give birth one month after her husband's untimely death in a suicide bombing at an Arab-Israeli owned restaurant in Haifa in March 2002. Suheil Adawi, 32, was killed in his family's restaurant, and Sunday was supposed to be his day off. His friends and family said his wife and child were his whole world. His uncle Theofic Adawi said: "Life in this country is no longer tolerable when a man goes out to work to provide for his family and doesn't come home. …

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