"The whole family was very happy when it heard that Muhammad is the hero who carried out the attack,"
said Naim Saqsaq, the brother of Muhammad Saqsaq, who carried out the suicide attack in Eilat that killed three people.
"We knew that he was waiting and praying for this moment. He always said, 'If only I could be a shahid, if only I could carry out an attack.' And here Allah gave him the privilege," he told Ynet.
The brother recounted that Muhammad was an unemployed construction worker. He was married. His only daughter died from disease three weeks ago.
"He was always in the mindset of the fighters. When the Israelis were invading Gaza, he participated in the battles in Jabalya and Beit Hanoun. He was waiting for this moment. The truth is that we knew that at some point he would be killed in a confrontation with the Israelis and would be a shahid. Because of this, we are happy that God gave him what he asked for."
Naim told that he saw his brother for the last time four days ago. "I don't know how to explain the reports that the attack was prepared over many long months. In my opinion, he went on his way four days ago. I don't know where to," he explained.
Cleanly shaven, wearing jeans
According to Naim, his brother was a very religious person who always expressed hope that Hamas and Fatah and all the Palestinians would unite, and would stop fighting against one another, instead focusing their efforts to fight against "the Zionist enemy."
The brother recounted that Muhammad was very pained recently, and always said that he wished he has some way of doing something to end the confrontation within the Palestinian Authority.
Naim Saqsaq said that in his opinion, by carrying out the terror attack, he wanted to send the message: "There is no place for killing and internal war, and that we should only fight against 'the Zionist enemy.'"
According to Naim, "He got his wish, and we got this honor. The people in the mourners' tent in Beit Lahiya are praising us for this action that came at such a difficult and sensitive time for the Palestinians – a time in which Palestinian blood is being spilled."
One of Muhammad's friends told Ynet that he saw him for the last time on Thursday, and he looked different. "I am used to seeing him with a beard, but on this day he was cleanly shaven and had a short haircut like an American Marines soldier. This was the first time I saw him with gel in his hair and in jeans," said the friend.
"I asked him where he was going with this whole getup. He didn't answer, but he looked very happy to me. He laughed and joked. When he said bye to me, he didn't say 'Salam alaykum,' as is customary for believers, but said, 'Bye bye' – something he had never said," recounted the friend.