Bomber's hometown celebrates attack
Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST Oct. 27, 2005
Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Kabatiya, south of Jenin,
Wednesday night to celebrate the suicide bombing in Hadera, which was
carried out by local resident Hassan Abu Zeid.
Chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great), some 3,000 people, including Fatah and
Islamic Jihad gunmen, converged on Abu Zeid's home to "congratulate" his
family on the success of the attack, which killed five people and wounded
more than 30.
They also called for more suicide attacks in Israel.
"With blood, with soul, we redeem Hassan," the crowd chanted. "Oh Jihad,
Jihad, give us more [suicide] bombings. Oh [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon,
prepare more coffins."
Shortly after the attack, Islamic Jihad activists shouted through
loudspeakers in the town that the suicide bomber was Abu
Zeid, 26, a member of the organization's armed wing, Al-Quds Brigades. They
said the attack was carried out to avenge the killing earlier this week of
top Islamic Jihad operative Luai Sa'adi in Tulkarm.
Abu Zeid's mother, Um Hassan, said she was proud of her son for what he did.
Her husband, Ahmed, a blacksmith who was
later arrested by the IDF, greeted the well-wishers with tears in his eyes.
"I'm proud of my son and hope that he will enter heaven," the mother
"We're all your sons," shouted one of the men as several women ululated in
an expression of joy.
According to the family, Abu Zeid left home just before sunrise on
Wednesday, saying he was on his way to dawn prayers at a local mosque.
"There was nothing unusual about his behavior," said one family member. "He
didn't say anything about his plans."
Another relative described Abu Zeid as a "normal and quiet person" who
rarely talked about political matters.
"He used to work with his father and was never known as a religious
extremist," he said. "We never heard that he was wanted by Israel."
The mother said she first heard about her son's involvement in the attack as
she and the rest of the family were preparing for the breaking meal of the
fasting month of Ramadan.
"Some men started shouting through loudspeakers that the suicide bomber who
carried out the attack in Hadera was Hassan Abu Zeid," she said. "We were
all in a state of shock."
Later in the day the family, with the help of hundreds of young men, removed
all furniture from the house for fear that the IDF would demolish it.
Khaled al-Batsh, a senior Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip, lashed out
at the Palestinian Authority for condemning the Hadera attack, vowing to
step up suicide bombings in Israel. However, he said his organization would
abide by the unofficial truce with Israel only if Israel honored it and
halted its "aggression" on the Palestinians.
"Nineteen Islamic Jihad members have been killed by Israel during the period
of calm," Batsh said. "This means that Israel isn't abiding by the truce. It
is therefore inconceivable that we abide by the truce unilaterally."