For the past week, the Facebook “noisemakers”(statuses) have been making noise about three issues mainly. The first one were the Oscar’s and who should have and shouldn’t have won the award. The second matter was Omar, a Palestinian film by Hany Al-Assad and its nomination for an Oscar. The third issue, which really is not an “issue” but rather a crime was that of the killing of Motaz Washaha by the IOF.
On the morning of February 27th, I was at home in another city away from where the action was happening. I was sitting in front of my computer screen contemplating whether or not to add an extra class, and with the headache that caused, I went on Facebook to see what was new with the world this morning. I noticed a friend of mine had reposted a status saying, “The Occupation forces have raided Birzeit,” in Arabic. Naturally, I thought, and I went scrolling down.
However, when I reached the university I attend, I heard whispers around about a man that was shot? A boy was arrested? It was all bits and pieces, and I did not get the full story until I met with three of my friends who told me what had happened earlier that day. In an attempt to arrest Motaz, a “threat” to the state of “Israel”, live ammunition was shot his way, his home demolished, and him dead. It is worthy to note here that to the state of “Israel”, many, if not all Palestinians are a “threat”.
The story of Motaz’s death triggered a memory, one of the first I obtained upon arriving in Occupia* years ago. I remember that morning I went to my grandparents house. The atmosphere – well, now that I think of it, the atmosphere was just like today’s; gloomy, raindrops here and there…Something went on in my grandfather’s neighborhood the night before three houses away from theirs, and my grandfather wanted to go see. For some odd reason, he decided to take my brother, two of my younger cousins, and me with him.
I remember upon reaching the house, there were cars and people everywhere. Some were talking, some were yelling, some smoking, a few taking photographs of the scene. What was the back of a two-story house was now gone, demolished by the IOF because they wanted to arrest a “threat”. I could see the framework of the house; four rooms on top of each other, one with a baranda. I could see bullets in the house. Half of the house was now rubble on the ground.
Years later today, as I was driving on the street behind that house, I noticed the rubble was still there. I also noticed that I could still see the framework of the back of the house, but what were once doors to rooms that led to the inside of the home were now covered.
I didn’t see Washaha’s home in person, but I imagine it would look something like this, if not worse. I didn’t know Motaz, as I did not know the martyrs before him, but one thing I do know is that things like this happen. Things like this shouldn’t happen, and the peace negotiations many are excited about aren’t going well.
May Motaz and the martyrs before him rest in peace.