Palestinian shot soldier to sell Kalashnikov
Patrick Cockburn was awarded Foreign Reporter of the Year at the 2015 Press awards and Foreign Commentator of the Year at the 2013 Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards. He's an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent.
Tuesday 16 May 1995
Thaer Fares, formerly of the Palestinian armed forces, thought it worth killing for. Two weeks ago he told a military court he wanted the money to feed his family. In a calm voice, the ex-sergeant, 29, told how he lured Nasser Abu Aqel, another soldier, to target-shoot with him in dunes overlooking the sea outside Gaza City on 29 April.
Fares shot Abu Aqel 10 times. Had he not been pursued by local farmers, he would have sold his friend's AK-47 on the black market.
Major Ibrahim al-Hadhud, head of the court that sentenced him to death, said at least Fares had a job in an area where 55 per cent of the population was unemployed. "He was getting 1,000 shekels [£230] a month," the major said.
Fares first asked a friend, also a soldier, to meet him at an isolated spot to discuss buying 1,500 rounds of ammunition in a black-market deal. The friend was to bring an automatic rifle to test the ammunition, but suddenly had to go on duty. Fares then persuaded Abu Aqel to go to the sea for some shooting. Abu Aqel said: ''I don't have any bullets." Fares said: "Don't worry; I have five rounds."
He drove down a deserted track. Taking Aqel's gun, he covertly loaded it and shot him in the face. Major Hadhud said he then put the gun on automatic, firing into the body.
He would have got away, but suspicious farmers blocked the road and, as he tried to drive round, his car stuck in sand. Pursued on foot, he got a lift from a passing car. The driver noticed his bloodstained clothes and turned him in at a checkpoint.
Four days later he was sen-tenced. His appeal is likely to be turned down today and, if Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Authority leader, confirms the sentence, Fares will face the firing-squad.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...