Arafat Yacob; `“A Martyr who was killed three times`

Feature Story Translated and Edited by Saed Bannoura

”They wounded him three time, but he survived…until they killed him on while he was on his wheelchair”.

Adel Yacob, from Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, started telling the story of his brother, Arafat who was killed in cold blood.

“My brother was wounded in 1992; he sustained three bullets to his back, and spine, he was paralyzed since then, yet that not the whole story, when he was only 14, he was wounded in his leg”, Adel said.

Adel added that the injury of his brother, and his paralysis, did not stop him from continuing his life in a normal and active way.

Arafat used to work in Abu Raya rehabilitation Center in the Wheelchair maintenance department, after he finished his rehabilitation program.

Abu Raya rehabilitation center was established in the first Intifada which started in 1987, after the urgent need for a rehabilitation camp in the Palestinians areas as a result of the huge number of spinal cord injuries a result of military fire, who used live ammunition against Palestinian throwing stones at the occupying army.

The brother added, “Arafat got married, he is a father of a baby girl, the bad economical situation forced him to work as a Taxi driver in order to gain financial support to his family”.

One day in 2002, while he was driving his car, soldiers fired at him and wounded him, again, in his chest, he was in a critical condition, but with the help of God, he survived, and again in 2003, he became of father of a new baby that he named “Yasser”.

“Yasser will live as an Orphan, after army killed his father, one day he will ask about his father, about who killed him…”

Adel, with a face full of tears, said. “I can’t forget my brother, the image of him drawn in his blood, after army opened random fire at the houses and civilians in the camp”.

It is worth mentioning that the youngest brother of Arafat was killed a while ago, while he was sitting in Arafat’s wheelchair, near a club in the camp; he sustained a fetal bullet to his head.

Adel, filled with sadness, tears and bitterness, added that the soldier saw Arafat on his wheelchair, but did not stop shooting; he shot at him and at the people without taking any consideration to the presence of innocent civilians, women, children and elderly.

“It is true, the occupation killed my brother, but his son is alive, he will continue the path of his father, and be loyal to the people and his homeland, Palestine” Adel added.

Arafat is remembered as the source of inspiration and pride, the wheelchair bound person with a strong will.

He was an Athlete, on his wheelchair, every year he used to win the wheelchair racing conducted by the rehabilitation center in Ramallah.

While he was receiving rehabilitation in Abu Raya rehabilitation Center, he was a source of joy, his presence and strong will was a source which encourages tens of wounded Palestinians, from all parts of Palestine, receiving rehabilitation and training in the center.

Arafat, can only be remembered as a strong man, with a kind heart and iron Will, he was the man who never surrendered to his disability caused by “bullets of hatred” fire by the occupying army.

He will live forever, in the minds and hearts of those who knew him; he will forever be the source of inspiration of hundreds of Palestinian who became paralyzed as a result of the bullets of hatred and oppression.

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