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Suliman Qadia - 'We never dreamt Qassams would last seven years' Photo: Amir Cohen
Suliman Qadia - 'We never dreamt Qassams would last seven years' Photo: Amir Cohen
 
 

Palestinian collaborator: Terrorists only understand force

Suliman Qadia lived in Khan Younis until nine years ago, when after several years as a Shin Bet collaborator he moved to Sderot. Despite his fears for family members left behind in Gaza, he says only harsh IDF action will end rocket attacks: 'Force is the only language they understand, I know what I'm talking about'

Shmulik Hadad
Published: 05.30.07, 00:55 / Israel News

Among the thousands of Israeli residents suffering from incessant rocket attacks from Gaza are several former Palestinian collaborators who aided Shin Bet operations in the Gaza Strip many years ago. Many of them say they wish Israel would use much harsher methods against terrorism from Gaza.

 

"There is only one solution to this situation – a ground incursion into Gaza which will wipe out the cells launching the rockets, stay there and not leave until it's over," says Suliman Qadia angrily.

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Fifty-three-year-old Qadia moved to Sderot from the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis some nine years ago. "But this government is incapable of making decisions, they're glued to their cabinet seats," he continues.

 

After aiding the Shin Bet for several years Qadia fled Gaza but only part of his family managed to leave with him.

 

"Unfortunately, the Shin Bet failed us in that critical moment in time and didn't help," he said, adding that the family members left behind are safe. In his current negotiations with the Israeli government Qadia is aided by a lawyer, Nathan Schreiber.

 

When the first collaborators came to Sderot almost a decade ago, the town had never heard of Qassams. "At first we thought it was just an isolated incident, a one-kind type of attack, I never dreamt that it would go on for seven years.

 

"We've suffered until now, but that's it, it cannot go on like this. I have young children and they are frightened and terrified," said Qadia. He and his friends already left for a State sponsored vacation in a hotel outside the rocket battered town and have also spent time in the tent city built by billionaire businessman Arcady Gaydamak for Sderot refugees.

 

Qadia said that the short breaks are not a real solution for the anxiety brought on by the Qassams. "It's only getting worse and with no end in sight, unfortunately I see no real leadership here, it's every man for himself. Nothing else will work, we just need to go into Gaza, full force, and pound them, erase them completely, until it's over. That's the only language they understand and believe me – I know what I'm talking about. After all, I lived with them."

 

Qadia said he knows that a large-scale ground operation would put his family at risk but said that's a risk he is willing to take. "As far as I'm concerned," he said, "once this crazy shooting started I no longer have relatives. I talk to them sometimes and I try to explain what we're going through over here but unfortunately it's completely out of their hands, there's nothing they can do about it."

 

Attorney Nathan Schreiber said he receives many requests for help from former collaborators who live in Sderot.

 

"Naturally they're very concerned about the situation. They may ethnically be Palestinians but there is Jewish blood in their veins. In my talks with them they keep saying that Israel is not doing enough to stop the Qassams. They follow the strife inside Gaza and have said that in their opinions – the rocket attacks will only stop once the factional violence in Gaza ceases."

 

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