Thursday, September 4, 2008

Father of a Martyr

We met the father and young sister of a Palestinian martyr. On Saturday, October, 20, 2001 a 17 year old Palestinian teenager was walking to church after school in Bethlehem. He and his family had lived there for generations. Johnny was a deacon in the Greek Orthodox church in Bethlehem and very active in his community. According to witnesses and news reports, an Israeli sniper shot Johnny, killing him in front of the church. There was no reason given for the shooting. Within two hours, the Pope announced publicly that violence had reached Manger Square, Bethlahem. The father talked of how this had affected the family drastically. Johnny's mother has still never been the same and couldn't even bare to talk about it. They said that she spent so much time at the semitary after his death they had to forbid her to go, hoping she could somehow let go. Hoping for some kind of jsutification or response from the Israeli government about this injustice, none came. Days after the events, Johnnys father, who had been working in Jeruselum, was told he would no longer recieve permits to Jeruseluem. No reason was given though he suspects it is to quiet him about the events. Now his father has no job, and no means to fead his family. I asked how he feed his family and he replied that his extended family helped him.

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