Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

The Strange Arrest of Zaki al-Sakani

January 15, 2013 2:38 am 1 comment

President George W. Bush of United States (center) discusses the Middle East peace process with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel (left) and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in Aqaba, Jordan, 2003.

Much of the Palestinian-Israeli Oslo “peace process” mythology is grounded in the idea that if “the Palestinians” were treated as a single, responsible partner, they would behave like one.  If “the Palestinians” got enough foreign aid, they would spend it to alleviate the poverty of their people.  If “the Palestinians” had status, territory, taxation, and educational authority, they would govern.  If “the Palestinians” had elections, they would have a democracy.  If “the Palestinians” had a “security force,” they would “dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.”

If only.  The Palestinians are not a single political unit, nor even a single government.  Hamas and Fatah, for all their recent talk of “unity” (including a meeting in Cairo), remain no more reconciled to one another than they do to Israel.

Consider the odd tale of Zaki al-Sakani; the poor guy only wanted to blow up people.

It was without apparent irony that four years after his imprisonment, Hamas on Tuesday announced the sentencing of al-Sakani to 15 years in jail for “terrorism” and illegal possession of explosives and weapons.  Fatah protested.  “[The verdict] is unjust because it was issued by an illegitimate court, and because the motive behind the verdict was merely political. The man was a prominent leader of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigades and one of its best fighters.”

Al-Sakani was better than your typical bomb-maker in Gaza in the early days of the second “intifada.”  Fatah credits him with designing the first homemade mortar shell and says he produced hundreds of shells that rained on southern Israel.  The Israelis actually wounded him once while he was mid-rocket-launch, according to the Palestinian news agency Ma’an.  A hero in the Palestinian pantheon.

But only half the pantheon.  During the Hamas-Fatah civil war, Fatah-affiliated al-Sakani became the enemy for Hamas, which tried to arrest him in July 2008, but he escaped.  According to Ma’an, “Hamas forces confiscated his handgun, a homemade projectile and several mortar shells and explosives, as well as a computer.”  All perfectly normal household items for bomb-makers, but now that the bomb-maker was working for the other side — no, not Israel, Fatah — al-Sakani had become a “terrorist.”  All the more so when Hamas claimed he was involved when a bomb on the beach in Gaza City killed 5 top Hamas military men and wounded some 40 civilians later that month.  Al-Sakani was arrested in August, taken from a hospital where he was recovering from an apparent assassination attempt — or arrest attempt.

Al-Sakani is still wanted in Israel, but he will serve his time, apparently, in a Hamas prison.  Still, he is convicted only of “terrorism.”  Had he been accused of “collaboration” with Israel, his fate might have been that of the six Gaza men summarily executed in front of a chanting mob in November.  The body of one was chained to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets.

Under the circumstances, it makes the November decision of the U.N. General Assembly to grant “non-member state” status to a split territory governed by warring terrorist factions, neither of which has created institutions of statehood, justice, or human rights, look less like a step forward for Palestinians and more like a step backward for the UNGA.

Even the comments on the Ma’an website express the bewilderment and disillusionment of Palestinians brave enough to write in.  “Sami” wrote, “Isn’t this what the PA of Abbas says when arresting the fighters of Hamas in the West Bank?  The PA arrested more than 13,000 Palestinians between 2007-2011 almost 1.5 times of what the Zionists arrested of 9,700 Palestinians in the WB in the same period[.]”  “Nour” wrote, “What a sad joke the Palestinian state ‘project’ has become[.] … We deserve each and every blow the enemy delivers to us — EACH ONE. I challenge anyone to dispute this[.]… I’m beginning to think the ‘Palestinian cause’ is lost.”

The “Palestinian cause” may not be lost, but it ill-serves the United States to presume that pressure on Israel or concessions by Israel will move it forward.

This article by Shoshana Bryen was originally published by The American Thinker.

1 Comment

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    What a complicated web the Palestinians live in. With all of the subterfuge evident between Hamas and Fatah, it is no wonder that any kind of peace process with Israel is remote at best. I have two comments about the contents of this article. First, how unfortunate that a “collaborator” is a greater traitor than a “terrorist.” Still the greater enemy is the “Zionist regime.” Mahmoud and Ismail, get your act together! Don’t you understand that this cocamamie infighting is counterproductive? Secondly, there is no “West Bank” people. Just as there is truly no “Palestinian” people, the so-called
    occupied” territory is a myth. There is, however, Judea and Samaria. Isn’t it time that Israelis call a spade a spade: revisionist terminology plays into the hands of the revisionists. We Zionists live by the Hebrew Bible, not by the terrorist charters of Hamas and the PLO. Let’s get real!

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Theater US & Canada Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Famed actor Seth Rogen on Tuesday unveiled with typical comic fanfare the trailer for his new Christmas film. The movie “was made by Jews… and opens on Thanksgiving,” Rogen pointed out on Twitter. The Night Before tells the tale of three “ride or die homies” celebrating one last debauchery-filled Christmas Eve reunion before they become too busy to keep up their annual tradition. In an effort to make the night as memorable as possible, they set out to find the “Nutcracka Ball – the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    A June 2015 art exhibit, “The Transformative Power of Art,” at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, harnessed the universal language of art to convey an important message: “Our fragile Mother Earth faces the devastating consequences of climate change, a defining challenge of our time.” The exhibit also included sixteen portraits of people from all over the world who have “contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    A 32-year-old Circassian Israeli Muslim Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Abu Ghosh says he takes pride in fighting under the Israeli flag, Israel’s Walla reported on Sunday. Like most Circassian Israelis, Jackie “the Punishment” Gosh was born Sunni Muslim. He became observant about eight years ago, and is now scrupulous in following his religion’s tenets, praying five times a day and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Gosh is also very proud of his Israeli nationality, and sees no contradiction between […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    A new documentary explores the lives and work of Jewish and Arab rappers in Israel and how the ongoing conflict in the region has impacted their lyrics, the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday. Hip Hop in the Holy Land is a six-part series co-directed by Mike Skinner, the British frontman of hip-hop group The Streets, and produced by Noisey, a music channel published by Vice news. The first episode, published last week, shows Skinner meeting with Tamer Nafar, the founder of one of […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    New 49ers running back and Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne apologized on Wednesday for a tweet in which he raised the age-old myth that Jews were historically responsible for Jesus Christ’s death. Reaching out to his Jewish fans, and the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Hayne tweeted: “To the Jewish community @DvirAbramovich #WeAreAllOne.” Underneath, he keenly included a screenshot of a text message to elaborate on his apology: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot reminisced about her childhood in Israel during an interview published in this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. “I don’t remember this, but my mom told me that when I was three they threw a party on the rooftop of the house. They put me to bed, and I heard people coming into the house and no one came to me. I went to the rooftop and took a hose and I started to spray water on everyone, just […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    An Israeli organization is helping wounded U.S. veterans move past their physical and psychological challenges by connecting them with injured Israeli soldiers who understand what they’ve been through. “What we discovered very early is that there’s no ‘professional, psychiatrist, social worker’ or anything like that [or] pills that can come even close to helping a soldier who fought in combat, who was wounded, who lost his friends. No one can help him like another person who’s been through exactly what he has,” Rabbi Chaim Levine, […]

    Read more →
  • Relationships World Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time

    Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time

    Women are less likely than men to want to kill Nazi leader Adolph Hitler if given the ability to travel back in time, a recently published research paper revealed. The paper analyzed 40 studies involving 6,100 respondents in a time-travel thought experiment, the New York Post reported on Friday. While 60 percent of men said they would theoretically be willing to kill Hitler, only 55 percent of women said they would be comfortable doing the same. The paper was published in the Personality and […]

    Read more →