Large crowds, estimated at tens of thousands, marched on Saturday in the funeral procession of Eyad Abulineen, a Palestinian resistance fighter of Rafah, along with his 7-year old son Belal and four other people, who were killed by Israeli missiles on Friday.
Prior to heading to the Rafah cemetery, east of the City, the crowd said a last farewell to their martyrs in a local mosque, which did not have the capacity for so many mourners – forcing hundreds of them to perform the funeral rituals at a nearby UNRWA school.
Chanting angry slogans, with resistance fighters firing into the air, the crowd marched toward the cemetery, where the martyrs were laid to rest.
In the city today, sadness is overwhelming in the city streets, bystanders appear angry, shopkeepers stand in front of their stores and women speak in hushed voices full of the loss of these friends and countrymen.
Despite relatively hot weather and crowded streets, the marchers kept walking to the cemetery, where some thoughtful locals provided water for their thirsty throats. In the cemetery itself, the marchers were joined by others who were waiting at different spots around the cemetery to bury the six martyrs.
One of these spots is the joint tombstone for Eyad and his son Belal, as many of their relatives and friends, looked on sadly as their coffins were laid to rest.
Sighing twice before speaking, Eyad’s uncle, Mohammad Abdelqader Abulineen, 48, said, “Eyad was an extraordinary man; he was very kind, very gentle and helpful. He used to be loved by everybody who knows him. He was really more than a human. But he had to meet his destiny and that’s Allah’s(God) will that we should accept”.
“After 6:00pm on Friday, Eyad went with his family, his wife and mother, and two kids, to visit a relative. On their way back to home form that visit, Eyad dropped both his wife and mother, while his two kids Mohammad,14, and Belal, 7, stayed in the car”, Mohammad told the grieving crowd.
“While driving along the road, someone on the street shouted at Eyad that Israeli warplanes were hovering in the sky. Abruptly, an Israeli missile hit the car, and as 14-year old Mohammad rushed to escape, the car burst into flames, killing Eyad and his eight-year old son”, Mohammad continued.
An intimate friend of Eyad, “KH.K”, voiced high appreciation of Eyad’s traits; describing him as a lovely person, non-extremist and good-hearted.
“Every body in the neighborhood loved Eyad, we all lost him”, KH.K said.
The same sentiments were expressed by Eyad’s brother-in-law, who accompanied the group to the house and service of Eyad and his son, saying, “Eyad had no foes at all, everybody respected him”.
Eyad’s brother-in-law expected Mohammad, the other son of Eyad, who was injured due to the Israeli air shelling of Eyad’s car, to be at home within a few hours of the funeral, after he was brought from hospital.
In a long row of locals, offering condolences to the family of Abulineen, who was forced out by the Israeli occupation forces from the Palestinian town of Bashit in ‘historical Palestine’ [now Israel] in 1948, Mohammad the wounded child sat in the front, receiving the condolences, as he was the elder of Eyad’s children – the others were Belal, the killed eight-year old, and a girl.
“We led our father to his destiny; Belal and myself insisted that we turn to the site to have a look, after we joined our father, mother and grandmother to a family visit”, Mohammd, holding a stick beside his injured right leg, says bitterly.
“ After we spent about 15 minutes, drinking some tea, I dropped out of the car, waiting for my father to take me, while Belal was sticking to my father’s arms, moving the steering. Abruptly, I saw the car on fire and felt as if my leg was destroyed. My brother Belal’s little body was torn apart; it’s a horrible scene I could not stand”.
“My father is a martyr of freedom, I feel I didn’t lose him actually, and one like me should follow in the footsteps of his/her father, until freedom is attained and Palestine is returned”, with these words Mohammad ended his witness to the latest Israeli extrajudicial assassination of 6 Palestinians including a child and wounding of about 16 others in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.
True, like father like son, but true also that Israel has killed the grandfather’s dreams in 1948 and liquidated the father in 2006, and will likely kill the son in some time in the future.
According to the Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (B’TSELEM), the principle of proportionality constitutes one of the central pillars of international humanitarian law.
This principle stipulates that such an extrajudicial attack is forbidden, even when directed against a legitimate military target, if it is known that the attack is liable to result in injury to civilians that are disproportionate to the military benefit anticipated from the attack.