Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Palestinians Relieved at Sharon's Death, Call
the War Criminal "Ultimate Tormentor"
By Khalid Amayreh
in the West Bank
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 13, 2014
Palestinians, nearly at all levels, have expressed deep satisfaction
at the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the man many
Palestinian consider their "ultimate tormentor."
Saturday of a crippling illness that kept him in a state of constant comma
for eight years. He was 85.
Palestinian intellectuals and commoners
interviewed by this writer said they were quite relieved at the death of the
man they said killed so many innocent Palestinians and caused suffering and
misery on a large scale.
Sharon is especially reviled for the Sabra
and Shatila massacres in 1982, when he, as Defense Minister, enabled
Christian militiamen allied with Israel to penetrate the two refugee camps
on the outskirts of Beirut and butcher hundreds of refugees.
denied the allegations but the monstrosity of the massacres convinced very
few people, even inside Israel, of his innocence.
His visit to the
Aqsa Mosque esplanade in October 2000 was seen as the main event triggering
the second Palestinian intifada in which thousands of Palestinians and
hundreds of Israelis lost their lives.
Palestinians also believe
that Sharon ordered the assassination by way of poison of the late
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In 2004, Sharon ordered the assassination
of Ahmed Yasin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas. A few weeks
later, Sharon approved the assassination of Yasin's successor Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi.
The ostensibly overwhelming hatred the Palestinian public harbors for
Sharon seems to have made Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
refrain from extending official condolence to the Israeli government.
The PA might also be worried that a formal call of condolence would be used
by Hamas as a "propaganda capital" against Abbas and the PA.
rot in hell
While the PA leadership refrained from commenting on
Sharon's death, some Fatah leaders unhesitatingly voiced their deep
satisfaction at Sharon's death.
"Sharon was a bona fide criminal. He
is responsible for the murder of so many innocent Palestinians, including
Yasser Arafat. We would have hoped to see him dragged to the International
Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court to stand trial for his
numerous crimes" said Jebril Rajoub, an outspoken Fatah leader and former
head of the Preventive Security agency.
For its part, Hamas, which
rules the Gaza Strip, couldn't hide its pleasure at Sharon's death.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesperson, said the Palestinian people were more
confident in victory after the death of Sharon.
"Our people are
quite happy that this criminal has perished. We are happy because his hands
were smeared with the innocent blood of our children. We don't hate Sharon
and other Israeli leaders because they are Jewish. We hate them because they
are criminals and murderers."
Mushir al Masri, another Islamist
spokesman, said it was "natural" that Palestinians are happy about Sharon's
"Wouldn't Jews be happy about the death of a Nazi killer who
had killed numerous Jews during the holocaust?"
Ismael Shindi, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of
Hebron, described Sharon as "our ultimate tormentor."
"I know he is
looked upon as a celebrated hero by most Israelis and Jews. But for us he
was a despicable murderer and criminal. He carried on his hands the blood of
so many innocent people. I believe it is unethical and un-conscientious to
feel sorry for the death of such a man."
Shindi added: "I know that
gloating over a mortal's death is inappropriate. But the man we are talking
about was not an ordinary criminal. He was our ultimate tormentor and
grave-digger and I am not speaking metaphorically.
same feeling is echoed by almost every Palestinian this writer has spoken
Like other monotheistic religions, Islam, the religion of the
vast majority of Palestinians, discourages people from gloating over the
death of other people, even their enemies since all mortals will ultimately
However, in Sharon's case, there is a certain collective
feeling among Palestinians in general that the man's evil transcended
This is the view of Ahmed Yousef, the former political
advisor of Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismael Haniya.
went beyond the pale. It transcended reality. That is why it would be
dishonest to say that Palestinians don't feel relieved by his death."
As mentioned above, the hatred directed at Sharon is
by no means confined to any specific segment of the Palestinian public.
Tayseer Masalmeh is a taxi cab driver from the small town of Dura in the
southern West Bank.
He says that Palestinians cannot go against
nature by pretending that they are not satisfied at Sharon's death.
"I know that Sharon’s death won't change things on the ground. I know that
his death won't make Israeli leaders reconsider their oppressive policies
and practices against our people. But at least Sharon will meet his maker
and be brought face to face with the many thousands of people he cut their
lives short. I'm sure he will rot in hell. God wouldn't be just if he
State of perdition
A similar view was voiced by
Walid Suleiman, editor-in-chief of Hebron Times, a tabloid newspaper
published in Hebron.
"I think Sharon's prolonged comma and ultimate
death is a sign of God. For us Palestinians, he was a terrifying figure, a
sort of fearful golem. He was called the bulldozer for his ruthlessness and
viciousness. But eventually he succumbed to death as if he had never existed
on this earth. I hope all tyrants and oppressors, Arabs and Jews and others
will learn a lesson from Sharon's life and death, namely that arrogance,
insolence and evil don't pay off."
Suleiman, a religious Muslim,
said he was sure that the eight years Sharon spent in a state of comma
before his death was "a state of perdition." In Christian and also in
Islamic theology, perdition is a state of eternal punishment and damnation
into which a sinful and unrepentant person passes after death.
Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri doesn't credit Sharon for
withdrawing Israeli occupation troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
"He didn't do it for the Palestinians' sake or for peace. He did it because
he wanted to have as much Palestinian land as possible with as little
population as possible.
"Besides, Israel never really terminated its
domination of Gaza borders, waters and airspace."
think there is any qualitative difference between Sharon and other Israeli
"Sharon would murder us while cursing but people like
(Israeli President) Shimon Peres would do the same thing while saying 'we
love you.' "