Jenin, occupied West Financial institution – A person sits cross-legged on a worn floral flooring couch, a keffiyeh wrapped tightly throughout his face to guard his identification.
He’s a resistance fighter who lives within the Jenin refugee camp – the positioning of a violent and lethal two-day invasion by Israeli forces earlier this month – and he’s not taking any probabilities.
His thick-set arms cradle a big automated weapon, its glistening metallic physique standing in distinction to the darkish inside of the house. His hand is wrapped tightly across the rifle’s deal with along with his set off finger outstretched.
However behind the battle-hardened fighter’s imposing body lies a person who as soon as dreamed of getting a traditional life, a life he had solely glimpsed by way of the TV set.
The 29-year-old had labored for the native authorities earlier than, three years in the past, he joined the armed resistance to Israeli occupation of his Palestinian homeland.
“We knew nothing about life outdoors of the Jenin camp,” the fighter, who didn’t want to be named for safety causes, says of his life earlier than becoming a member of the resistance. “Now we have by no means seen a swimming pool or a sea in our lives.”
‘We won’t be deterred’
On July 2, Israel launched its raid on the camp, in an effort – it has stated – to root out “terrorists” that had taken management of the world, housing roughly 14,000 individuals. The army peppered the world with explosive drones and missiles fired from unmanned planes whereas tons of of troopers raided the camp. The fighter discovered himself on the centre of the motion.
“We solely had mild weapons. They [Israeli forces] made an enormous deal out of the invasion. They wished to discourage us,” he says matter-of-factly.
He recollects relentless assaults. One reminiscence stays ingrained in his thoughts, a missile that he says struck a gaggle of 20-30 fighters and injured 17.
Twelve Palestinians, together with three youngsters, have been killed within the assault on the camp.
He’s, nevertheless, adamant that Israel’s plan to strike worry into the fighters and wider group has not labored.
Talking in quick, unwavering tones, the fighter largely dismissed questions unrelated to the armed resistance and revealed little emotion.
“We won’t be deterred. Solely dying can cease us. They’ll kill us, wherein case we can be martyrs.”
“We are not looking for individuals to die in useless.”
Among the many dying and destruction, the fighter describes a community introduced nearer collectively and strengthened in its resolve to combat again towards the occupation.
As he tells it, the individuals of Jenin opened their doorways to the fighters. “They gave us meals. Even individuals who left their houses wrote messages on the fridges for us to eat no matter we wished.”
And after the assault, the fighter says that sense of togetherness led to a swell of individuals wanting to enroll to combat. “Many individuals wish to be a part of the factions, however we don’t wish to broaden. We are not looking for individuals to die in useless,” he says.
“We all know that God will give us victory”
Many fighters have been compelled to withdraw from the camp in the course of the assault, a tactical retreat they stated they’d lengthy ready for.
“God has stood by our facet. We’re believers, and we all know that God will give us victory,” the fighter says confidently.
For him, negotiations are a waste of time, and he doesn’t consider that there can be a political answer that may finish the occupation of Palestinian territory.
“We have no idea the place we’re going. We’re simply ready for dying,” he states with certainty in his voice.
However even with that acknowledgment of the unknown, a confidence nonetheless shines by way of – even when Israel is way stronger militarily than the Palestinian fighters within the occupied West Financial institution.
If “God is in your facet”, the fighter says, “nobody can defeat you.”