Thursday, February 25, 2021

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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work from homeHebron, February 25 - Citing what he calls the lockdown's "devastating effect" on his family, a local resident who aspires to kill Israelis by detonating an explosive belt he wears voiced his wish today that Palestinian public health officials lift movement restrictions to allow him to perform his duties outside the family residence.

Muhammad Qawasmeh, 24, told reporters this afternoon that he feels constrained by the regime of COVID-mitigation restrictions in place in this town less than an hour's drive south of Jerusalem, and that he cannot engage effectively in his work as a suicide bomber for the Islamic Resistance Movement known as Hamas.

"I simply can't do my job stuck here at home," lamented the now-unemployed holder of a degree in agricultural engineering. "If I were allowed to move more than a kilometer from my apartment, I could find some Jews to kill along with myself, but all the Jews are on the other side of town from here." Qawasmeh gestured toward the center of Hebron where an enclave of several hundred Jews lives, the fruits of an Israeli effort to restore a Jewish community to King David's first ancient capital following the massacre of the town's Jews by local Arabs in 1929. A larger community called Kiryat Araba lies on the next hilltop, even more inaccessible to Qawasmeh under present conditions.

"It's not good for me or my family," he observed. "I practiced a small detonation a couple of months ago, just to keep myself sharp, you know? I can't let those professional skills erode. I'm going to need them someday soon - at least I hope it's soon. But I ended up giving my little brother Osama third-degree burns and he almost lost an eye. This whole situation is having a devastating effect on my family."

Qawasmeh remarked that ironically, his very dedication to the greater good at the expense of his own physical welfare, or life, demands that he refrain from engaging in the very sacrificial activity for which he was recruited and trained. "Stay at home in the interest of public health, I get it," he acknowledged. "But why is it so important all of a sudden that it overrides the supreme value we've all nurtured until now, that of killing Jews as a way to liberate the land of our ancestors? Nobody used to care very much if it also meant killing Allah knows how many fellow Arabs. Suddenly this pandemic is different? I think the martyrs would understand either way."



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