The Palestinian News Agency Ma’an interviewed a woman in Gaza whose son was killed over the weekend in an Israeli airstrike aimed at terrorists launching rockets at Israeli towns. Her son Ahmad al-Sheikh Khalil was an Islamic Jihad military leader. Previously, four of her sons, also Islamic Jihad activists, were killed in Israeli anti-terrorism operations.
His mother, Fatima, expressed hope that her fifth son had not died in vain.
"We will, God willing, triumph in the end even if we have to sacrifice our lives, because we are the owners of this land, and the (Israeli) occupiers are the aliens."
In light of the family history, it’s no surprise how one surviving brother assumed Ahmad would meet his end:
"We have been expecting him to die as a martyr every day except the day he was actually killed, because we were so happy after Palestinian prisoners were released," his brother Radwan al-Sheikh Khalil told Ma'an.
According to Saraya, the website associated with Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades military wing, the mother - who has two surviving sons - felt “pride and joy” at the news about her son Ahmad, though she was also sad to leave him.
The pro-Israel blog "Elder of Ziyon" describes some of the Arabic posting:
She is looking forward to joining her sons in paradise.
The article says that she did not cry for more than five minutes upon news of her son Ahmad's death on Saturday.
She expressed joy and praised Allah for what happened, and expressed hope that her sons are all accepted into Paradise.
Many Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank call their militants who are killed “martyrs,” including those who kill themselves in suicide bombings. Glorification of terrorism is not limited to Hamas, as demonstrated in choosing the mother of seven sons imprisoned for militant activity as the Palestinian Authority’s representative launching the UN statehood bid.
In the barrage of rocket attacks over the weekend on southern Israel in which Fatima’s son was apparently involved, one rocket landed in the courtyard of a school and synagogue which were empty at the time. One Israeli man was killed in the coastal city of Ashkelon.
Watch this IDF video described as a Gaza terrorist squad preparing to launch long-range rockets into Israel on Saturday. It’s unclear if Ahmad al-Sheikh Khalil – also killed in an aerial strike Saturday - is one of those seen in the tape:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/KmL7sCBcG50?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]
In a society that rewards “martyrdom” and terrorism as seen in Hamas and the Palestinian Authority lavishing those freed from Israeli prison with cash and other prizes, it’s no wonder terrorism can – like in the case of the Khalils – become a family business.