It’s three weeks since his arrest but Ismail Halou still has streaks of purple bruising on the soles of his feet. The 22 year-old was filling cars at his family’s petrol station in Gaza City at 5pm on April 4th when a black jeep pulled into the forecourt, plain-clothed police stepped out and ordered him into the car. He was blindfolded and driven to the nearest police station.
“I could hear the screams of people being beaten in the rooms next to me. Two men held my legs down and tied them together on a wooden board then they beat the soles of my feet with a plastic rod. They beat me for at least five minutes. I was crying and screaming with agony. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt,” Mr Halou recalls.
It was only after the beating that police officers set to work trying to shave off the one-inch fin of gelled hair that was the cause of his arrest.
“At no point did they tell me why they had arrested me. I found out from neighbours when I got home that it was because of my hair,” Mr Halou explains, running a hand over the fuzzy regrowth on his head. He could not walk for three days after his release.
Police in Gaza, a Palestinian coastal enclave run by Islamist faction Hamas, have arrested at least 41 men on charges of immodesty this April.
Most of them were beaten, all of them had their heads forcibly shaven. Some were shaven because their haircuts that were deemed culturally inappropriate, others because their trousers were either too low-slung or too fitted. In at least two cases, police also cut-up jeans deemed too tight.
A Palestinian militant has been killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City.
Haytham al-Mishal, 29, was hit while riding a motorcycle. At least one other person was reportedly also injured.
A militant group which fired rockets at the southern Israeli city of Eilat two weeks ago said Mishal had been one of its members.
It is the first deadly air strike in Gaza since a ceasefire ended eight days of fighting between Israel and militants there in November.
The incident comes after a rise in violence across the Israeli-Gaza border in recent days. Militants have fired several rockets across the border into Israel and Israel has carried out air strikes, with neither causing injuries.
This disgusting woman had babies for the sole reason of them growing up and killing Israelis. Good riddance.
Via the NYT:
Mariam Farahat in front of a poster showing three of her sons who died in attacks on Israel.
Mariam Farhat, a Palestinian lawmaker known as the “mother of martyrs” after three of her sons died in attacks against Israel, one of which was a suicide mission that she encouraged in a homemade video, died on Sunday in Gaza City. She was 64.
Ms. Farhat, who was also known as Umm Nidal, had liver and bowel diseases, according to the Web site of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, which announced her death.
A photograph on the site showed what was said to be Ms. Farhat’s body, wrapped in a Hamas flag, with an automatic weapon lying across it. Thousands of people, including top Hamas officials, attended her funeral on Sunday. The Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, spoke at a service in her honor, according to al-Qassam.
Ms. Farhat was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006. Four years earlier, her 17-year-old son, Mohammad, was shot to death after he stormed an Israeli settlement with an automatic rifle and explosives, killing five students. Shortly before the attack, Ms. Farhat made a video in which she appeared with Mohammad to show support for what he was about to do.
“I wish I had 100 boys like Mohammad,” she once said. “I’d sacrifice them for the sake of God.”
Two more of Ms. Farhat’s sons, Nidal and Rawad, were later killed in clashes with Israel.
“I brought them up to be martyrs,” she said in an interview with National Geographic Television several years ago, “to become martyrs for the name of Allah.”
Nidal Farhat helped make Hamas rockets that were used to bomb Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. When he died, he left behind a 4-year-old son, Imad. Ms. Farhat told The New York Times in 2004 that she had assured Imad that he would be reunited with his father.
“You will be a martyr one day,” Ms. Farhat said she had told Imad, “and then you will go and see your dad.”
GAZA — Masked gunmen in Gaza summarily executed a man here on Friday as a suspected collaborator with Israel on the third day of its deadly aerial bombardments, shooting him multiple times and leaving his body beneath a billboard featuring a Hamas fighter holding a rocket.
“They took him out from the Jeep with his hands cuffed behind his back, they pushed him under the poster and fired three gunshots at his head from the back,” Mr. Mohammed said. “He was still alive. Then they set his cuffs free and turned him upside down and fired on him again.”
The brazen nature of the execution suggested that Hamas, which governs Gaza, intended it as a blunt message to other possible collaborators with Israel, which is believed to have an extensive network of informants here as part of its underlying battle with the group. But the shooting evoked mixed feelings.
“There were kids and children on the street,” said the witness, Mr. Mohammed. “They should have executed him in a far place.”
A series of Israeli airstrikes targeted suspected militants across Gaza overnight, killing 12 Palestinians and injuring 16, Palestinian medical officials said early Saturday.
In what appeared to be the initial attack, an Israeli airstrike killed two men who were traveling in a police vehicle in Gaza City, the officials said.
One of the men was a Hamas military leader who was deported to Gaza about five years ago after being freed from an Israeli prison, according to the officials.
The other man is considered a leader in the Popular Resistance Committees, a militant group that has said it recently launched rockets toward Israel and fired mortars from inside Gaza.
Southern Israel under heavy fire: Eight people were wounded Friday, one of them seriously, following a rocker salvo at southern Israel by Gaza terrorists.
Meanwhile, the IDF struck several times in the Gaza Strip, killing seven terrorists.
More than 40 rockets and mortar shells were launched at Israel’s south throughout the day, prompting the Air Force to mount several strikes on Gaza terror cells. According to the IDF, shortly after midnight, the IAF targeted two terror cells gearing to fire rockets at Israel, killing two terrorists.
Palestinian sources said at least two Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in the strike, near the Palestinian parliament in central Gaza City.
Iron dome in action
According to Magen David Adom emergency services, three people sustained rocket moderate shrapnel wounds, three others were lightly hurt while running for cover, and two others were involved in a car accident as result of the panic. The injured were rushed to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
In the early evening hourse, the Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted at least four Grad rockets fired at the southern communities of Ashdod, Gan Yavne and Kiryat Malachi.
The Color Red alert sounded in the Ashdod region immediately after the long-range rockets were fired, prompting residents to rush into bomb shelters and secured rooms. At least one rocket landed in an open area in the city’s vicinity.
Late Friday night, the Color Red alert sounded in Beersheba, southern Israel’s largest city. The Iron Dome system engaged and several explosions were reported in the area. Officials later said several rockets hit the city’s outskirts.
The Air Force targeted several terror cells in Gaza during the evening, killing at least three Islamic Jihad terrorists.
An IDF security assessment prompted the Home Front Command to bar mass gatherings within a 40km radius of the Gaza border, as well as order more public bomb sheltered opened….
The latest round of fighting in the Gaza region began Friday afternoon, after the IDF targeted a vehicle traveling in Gaza City, killing Popular Resistance Committees’ Secretary General Zuhir al-Qaisi and another senior group figure recently freed in the Gilad Shalit swap.
The army said al-Qaisi was in final stages of planning a major terror attack at Israeli targets on the Egypt border.
Updated: More than 100 rockets have hit Israel’s south so far, with 15 Palestinian terrorists reported killed during the IAF retaliation against launch sites.