The bloodied Eid in Gaza

Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh

“In what state did you come Eid? Are things the same or is there anything new?” This is how the poet Abu Al-Tayeb Al-Mutanabbi began his poem hundreds of years ago. It still rings true, especially given these dark days and painful circumstances of the brutal Zionist aggression against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has entered its seventh month.

Eid Al-Fitr this year has brought something old as well as something new. On the morning of the first day of Eid, three sons of Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau — Hazem, Mohammad and Amir, accompanied by their four children — went out to visit their relatives in Gaza to celebrate Eid with them, as is the Muslim custom on such occasions. Israeli missiles killed all seven as they drove down the street.

And so, Al-Mutanabbi, this Eid turned into a funeral because the criminal Zionists refused to allow the Palestinians to celebrate and have rare smiles on their sad faces. The occupation forces planned this, so that Gaza could not rest even for a single day. It was a bloodied Eid in the enclave.

Haniyeh received the news of the martyrdom of his sons and grandchildren while he visited a hospital in Qatar to meet wounded Palestinians who had arrived from Gaza for treatment. A video showed him hearing the news on the phone from a caller who was crying, but he appeared to be completely accepting, dignified and calm.

“May God make it easy for them,” he said, as he continued to greet the wounded in the hospital. “May God make it easy for them.”

This is a phrase that will be added to Al Jazeera journalist Wael Al-Dahdouh’s “It’s OK” and Khaled Nabhan’s “The soul of my soul” in the lexicon of the struggle for freedom the world over.

The Zionists wanted to break Haniyeh’s heart with their cowardly act, but he disappointed them. He defeated them with his patience, faith and steadfastness. Those who know or have met him confirm that his response to such news was typical of the man.

“The blood of my sons is not dearer than the blood of our people,” said Haniyeh later, as he thanked God for the honour of his three children and four grandchildren being martyred. He pointed out that around 60 members of his extended family have been killed during the ongoing genocide, and that all of the Palestinians in Gaza, of whom he is just one, have paid a high price with their relatives’ blood.

“The enemy is delusional if it thinks that targeting my sons, at the climax of the [ceasefire] negotiations and before the movement sends its response, will push Hamas to change its position,” explained the former democratically-elected prime minister.

The apartheid occupation state must be certain of its defeat whenever it sees the legendary steadfastness of the resistance leaders, even if it can never admit or acknowledge this. Netanyahu’s son is safe in the US, while other young Israeli men and women are serving in the army and being killed in Gaza.

There is no doubt that the heinous operation to kill Haniyeh’s sons and grandchildren will be a new curse upon Netanyahu and his far-right government, even as the movement grows within Israel to remove him from office. It is increasingly obvious that the Zionist leadership is prepared to sacrifice its own people to boost their own election chances with little or no risk to themselves or their families.

May God indeed have mercy on the sons and grandchildren of Ismail Haniyeh, and all the genuine sincere leaders and their children who have given their lives for the sake of freedom and justice in Palestine.

May God have mercy on all the martyrs of Gaza and Palestine who died for the sake of liberation from the tyranny of the Nazi-Zionist occupiers. The path towards a free Palestine from the river to the sea is lined with thorns and difficulties, but the pure blood of the people of Palestine, their faith in God and the justice of their cause, will ensure victory in the end. It is inevitable. Free Palestine!

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.