Murder adds to Hamas support - World - News - The Independent

Murder adds to Hamas support

'ARAFAT is no good. He gave up the gun. The people here support Hamas. They support violence against the Jews, the scum of the earth. They support an Islamic solution.'

Abed, a 50-year-old merchant, spoke huddled in his grocery store in semi-darkness, surrounded by his family. The store gates were bolted against the deathly quiet of the streets outside, where only army trucks occasionally rumbled past.

The family were sitting out a curfew, clamped on Hebron since Sunday when news broke that an Israeli border guard, Nissim Toledano, had been kidnapped by Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement. It was to be expected that Hebron, on the Israeli-occupied West Bank, would be swiftly punished for the kidnapping, which ended on Tuesday with the discovery of the border guard's stabbed body.

Like the Gaza strip, Hebron is a Hamas stronghold. Until four years ago the town was largely the territory of Fatah, the mainstream of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. But seeking out the underdog in the underdog town, Hamas has gained ground, winning six out of 11 seats in recent chamber of commerce elections.

'People are poor here. They go to the mosques for comfort. They keep old customs. They read the Koran. Palestinians in Jerusalem have forgotton the Koran and become like Jews,' said Asmi, 25, a construction worker. 'Now Hamas has proved they are strong. People here will support them more.'

The curfew and the mass arrests have only inflamed the new support for Hamas. 'There is nobody here who does not support the killing of the Israeli. Anyone who does should himself be killed. We suffer from these bastards. They take our land then they come and shout at us in the night like barking dogs,' said Abed. 'Violence is the only way now until we die. The negotiations in Washington are another plot to eliminate the Palestinians.'

The curfew, with its army checkpoints and spiked bars on roads, has severed Hebron, just 20 miles south of Jerusalem, from its hinterland. The closer to the town, the quieter it becomes. In the centre, soldiers swing guns at passers- by and scowl.

The 550 or so Jews who live among the 65,000 Arabs are allowed free passage and take advantage of the shuttered Arab shops to spray Stars of David.

They are the settler radical fringe, come to restore a Jewish presence in Judaism's second holiest city, the site where Abraham is buried. It is in the Ibrahmi mosque, built over that site, that Hamas has found so many willing followers.

'At 10pm on Sunday the jeeps came,' said Abed. 'They said 'don't leave your homes until further notice'.' Hebron is used to curfews but this is the strictest they remember. For the first time the bakeries have been shut down.

Abed has no permit to trade under curfew. But people close by sneak out to buy provisions. Now he has run out of flour, he says.

'When the curfew came everyone in the neighbourhood bought two chickens from the supermarket, but his permit was taken away. We don't know what has happened to the owner now,' said Abed, as an elderly man banged on the gates outside, asking for tea.

The children have not gone to school, the adults have lost pay because they are not working. Abed's brother, Ahmad, said he was planning to skirt the roadblocks to get to his job in east Jerusalem.

The curfew means there is little to do but talk. They talk a lot about Nissim Toledano. Khaled, 10, says there was no choice but to kill the border guard. 'When the deadline passed . . . ' and then he chopped his hand smartly downwards and giggled to his friends.

They also talk a lot about the arrests in Hebron that followed. 'They just take anybody they can find. People arrested for throwing stones during the intifada - they pick them up again.'

Sitting among the cans of tomatoes and the boxes of tissues, wearing dressing-gowns to keep out the cold, they also talk about an Islamic state.

(Photograph omitted)

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Sport
David Moyes and Rio Ferdinand
FootballRio Ferdinand on why the former manager failed at United
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
News
i100
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week