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Khamis, 17 Januari 2008

When Zahar Cried (Palestine close to me!)

When Zahar Cried

By Ola Attallah, IOL Correspondent

Zahhar said that all Palestinians are ready to sacrifice their own life for liberating the Palestinian lands GAZA CITY —

"We offer our sons for martyrdom not because we are stone-hearted fathers, but because Palestine is precious," a tearful Mahmoud Zahar said standing by the blooded body of his youngest son.

Hossam Al-Zahar, 22, was one of 19 Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces Tuesday, January 15, in the neighborhood of Al-Zeitun in eastern Gaza City.

A member of the resistance group Hamas military wing, he had joined fellow resistance fighters in trying to challenging the invading Israeli force.

Zahar, a top Hamas leader and a former foreign minister, rushed to hospital after receiving the heartbreaking news.

Reporters and cameramen were all set and ready for the emotionally charged moment.
It was one of the few times, if not the only, that the tough-talking Hamas leader let go of his inner feelings.

"God knows you are the apple of my eyes," the grieved father of four said as he bended over to kiss the forehead of his slain son.

"Saying goodbye is breaking my heart but it is our destiny and destination," added Zahar, his voice quavering.

Israeli forces stepped up its attacks in Gaza on Wednesday, January 16, killing three civilians, including a teenager, in the Gaza City.

The victims -- a 13-year-old boy, his father and uncle – died after an Israeli missile slammed into their car.

Israeli troops also shot dead an Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank town of Qabatiya near the city of Jenin.

Wednesday's deaths bring to 6,074 the number of people killed since the outbreak of Al-Aqsa intifada in September 2000, the vast majority of them Palestinians.

Martyrs Father

Hossam is the second son Zahar has offered his just cause.

Khaled, his elder son, was killed when an Israeli F-16 dropped half-ton of explosives on the family's home three years ago.

He was discussing with his father the final preparations for his wedding when the Israeli enemy stole not only his dream but also his life.

Zahar's wife and one of his two daughters were also wounded in the attack.
The Hamas leader also lost his son-in-law in an Israeli attack last year.

Born in 1945, Zahar is a co-founder of Hamas.
He graduated from Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, and five years later he got his Masters Degree in General Surgery from Ain Shams University, Cairo.

He has helped create the Palestinian Medical Society and was one of the primary founders of the Islamic University in Gaza in 1978.

When Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, Zahar was named a foreign minister under Premier Ismail Haniyeh's government.

"I promise all martyrs, including my two sons, that we would never give up our struggle to liberate Palestinian lands and Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem)," said a defiant Zahar.

"We die so that Palestinian may live."


as cited from Islamonline

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