she died because her blood sugar was up, or because of high blood
pressure, and that she suffered a heart attack, and that she foamed
white at the mouth.
I tell you she died because her heart exploded.
That night, November 26th, 2008, they came to Qalandiya refugee camp
with a list, quietly, without our noticing, more than 200 soldiers, on
the roofs, in the streets.
And to their home, too. They have two stories. One of their sons, the
older one, lives upstairs, and Um Sa'id who’s forty-nine years old, I
think, lives downstairs with her husband and the younger children. Her
youngest are a fifteen-year old son and a fourteen-year old daughter.
She has five children. A daughter and four sons. Nawaf, her son, just
got out of three years in prison. Her husband works as a watchman in a
building. A good man. When it happened, he was not home. He was working.
Later, when they came to tell him, he couldn’t stand on his own feet.
The soldiers came to their house and did what they always do: scare
people, bang on the door. The door was opened for them, and they entered
and told everyone to bring their IDs, and they took all the IDs and saw
that Muhammad was not there and asked, where is Muhammad.
The family said he doesn’t live there. That he is newly married. No
longer lives in his father’s house. That he lives in Semiramis. So they
gripped the older brother and told him, ‘Go get your brother. We’re
waiting here and won’t move until he gets here. If you don’t bring him,
we’ll take your father and brothers.” And they told Um Sa'id they only
came to talk to him. Ask him questions. Not to take him away.
So the poor brother went to get him, because of the threat to the
family, and also because the soldiers said it was only for talking. So
he went and brought him in the car to their father’s house, downstairs.
Then the soldier said: “You, Muhammad, give me your ID”. So he did, and
the soldier saw it was Muhammad and with no further questions or
anything they caught him and shackled his hands behind his back and
blindfolded him and came to take him away. And the mother went wild and
yelled and gripped her son so they wouldn’t take him. And the soldier
pushed her, and she pushed the soldier and gripped her son again and
there was a big mess and they took him away, and she fell and had a
heart attack right then and there.
Her son didn’t understand anything. He couldn’t see, just heard yelling
and voices. He was tightly blindfolded and couldn’t know.
They took him quickly and put him inside the jeep. And there were two
more jeeps, one in front and one in back, and that’s how they took him
away. And he didn’t know his mother died.
Later the doctor examined her and said she should be taken to the
hospital right away. So they took her to the hospital but she was
Her heart exploded and she died."
Translated by Tal Haran