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'We saw children without heads'
Photo: Reuters
Beit Hanoun gunmen
Photo: AP
Photo: Gil Yohanan
MK Barakeh: Unite
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Beit Hanoun funerals: We'll live for revenge
Thousands attend funeral procession of Palestinians killed in IDF shelling, most of them members of Atamna family. Relatives talk about unbearable sights and about what keeps them alive. MK Mohammad Barakeh calls on mourners to 'unite against the root of evil – the occupation'
Maali Atamna, whose brothers, nephews, brother-in-law and sisters-in-law were killed in Wednesday's tragic incident in Beit Hanoun, told Ynet on Thursday that "we only want to see the Jews put their casualties into sacks. This is all we pray for to Allah."

 

Confused and hurting, she finds it difficult to mention all of them by their names.

 

"They destroyed our family. It was around 5 a.m., we were praying the morning prayer, and then – 10 shells, maybe 12 – and the world was destroyed," she said.

 

Nineteen Palestinian citizens were killed in the grave incident, most of them members of the Atamna family. Maali refuses to accept the Israeli declaration about a mistake or a malfunction.

 

"One shell can be errant, two can be errant, but 20 shells cannot be errant. It was directed fire. They killed the children and the women, but filled all of us, especially all the children, with hate.

 

"What can we feel, if not hatred, when we see bodies, body parts, chopped children without heads? God willing we shall live to witness the great revenge," she said.

 

Samira, who is also part of a family that lost all of its aunts and uncles, told of another relative who was saved from the first shootings and called his mother for help: "She held out a hand to him and then another shell killed them both. The shell fell on them in the middle of the bed room."

 

Another casualty, she recounted, managed to tell her before he was killed that he had seen five of his brothers killed before his eyes.  


Mourning in Beit Hanoun (Photo: AP)

 

Knesset Member Mohammad Barakeh (Hadash) visited the mourning Atamna family to offer his condolences. "The blood that was shed belongs to all of us. We are all on nation. We won't forgive this massacre. You are the heroes of the Palestinian nation. You must stand strong," he said to those who survived.

 

Barakeh called "to unite against the occupation, the mother and father of the violence, the root of evil."

 

'Peretz wants to prove he is a big criminal'

The funeral procession was held Thursday afternoon. Hundreds of gunmen from all the organizations joined the procession, waving signs with slogans written on them.

 

Alongside calls for revenge, suicide attacks, and more and more rockets fired at Israel, calls praising this organization or the other were heard. The tension between Hamas and Fatah was difficult to hide even during a time of mourning.

 

The funeral procession revealed not only great outrage amongst the residents of Beit Hanoun, but also the immense damage Operation Autumn Clouds left in its wake. A tour of the town shows that not one car or house was left undamaged.

 

However, the residents say they will not be broken.

 

"Amir Peretz wants us to leave so that Sderot residents will be safe. But, in essence, this isn't connected to Sderot. It is connected to his desire to prove that he is a big criminal, no less than Sharon, Barak, and Mofaz."

 

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