This is not the first time I write of Shalit, but it is the first time I would ever write of Hamid (the bedouin) my own uncle.
No one would understand the Shalits’ sorrow and pain (specially the mother) but only those who suffered the same condition or even worse, such as plenty of the Palestinian side. Again: two years ago, my brother went to visit a friend of him in a neighboring refugee camp and when he came back he was pale and sad. I asked him what happened and he told me that he didnt find his friend, his friend was assassinated a few days before he went to see him. When my brother knocked the door, he found nobody there but an exhausted mother and impoverished house in the heart of the refugee camp. “I couldn’t stay, every passing minute was heartbreaking for me” my brother said. There was only a lonely mother who was hallucinating of her assassinated son who was killed by a zionist undercover unit, and then shift to talk of her other four sons who are all captured in the zionist jail !!!
What of Hamid, my uncle? It is a long story, over 44 years now, when he was only 16 years and I wasnt born yet:
We are refugees from Ashdod who were kicked out for the jewish settlers to take our home and land. We are a bedouin family, but from my mother’s side is a kind of a feudal family that owned lots of land property in different places in Palestine. Directly before the Nakba my grandfather had hundreds of acres that lie exactly by the old port of Ashdod, to the west of the old railway station that its rubbles still stand there. Some of this land was vineyards but was damaged later to expand the Ashdod port and to build a new luxurious neighborhood for the new Russian settlers !!!
As we were kicked out by 1948 Nakba, we lost everything including the sheep and camels cattle… and nothing left but to live a humble life in a refugee camp waiting for the “humanitarian” aid of the UNRWA !!
44 years ago, Hamid left and never came back again. It seems that he crossed the borders to go back to see our home and land to be killed by the zionist settlers. He was only 16 years old by then now he suppose to be 60 !! My grand-mom went crazy and left no single international nor Arab body to ask and plead for her son, the International Red Cross, the UN offices, the Arab army, the PLO, and all what you can imagine.. but there was no trace of Hamid, her little son… she went hallucinating for months, walking the whole day from here to there, but in vain !! I saw her several times talking of Hamid, hallucinating, weeping, until she died recently dreaming of him coming to hug her… my mom also talked of him from time to time as she is a few years older than him… Now I can draw a picture of him, a boy of 16, thin, brownish, heading west in the dusk of late november, to be shot dead because he went to see his own stolen home !!
The Shalit family are much lucky than my grandmom, they dont have to walk the whole day asking for their son; all the international personages are volunteering to help them (as I heard lately that Mr. Clinton is going to help them) to bring the “poor” soldier back home, the Shalits are sure that their son is treated like a prince and he is still alive, unlike my grandmom who never knew of her kid and what happened to him. Every single international leader has to pay homage to the Shalit family, visit them at home or their tent, promise to help, and express their sorrow of the “great suffering” of the Shalits (at the time they neglect, and dont mention a single word of the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners) !!!
Over 11,000 Palestinian prisoners, including children, women, and elder sick ones some of who are still captured even before Mr. Gilad was born.. these all are nothing compared to the “sweet little kid” of the Shalit settlers who was kidnapped from his military base while was ready to kill !!!
Now, if the “Israeli” government wants (and I doubt it would) to release their soldier, it MUST pay the price Hamas ask for… that simply if “israel” is under the pressure of one family, Hamas is under the direct pressure of 11,000 Palestinian families who are waiting for their kids to be released …. the Jewish blood is not redder than the Palestinian one… and the Palestinian suffering is much more greater than the crocodile tears of the zionist settlers !!!
Sami, the bedouin.