A Letter to Bush from the Mother of a Slain Palestinian

To the Honorable President George Bush President of the United States of America

We hope that you can give us a little of your valuable time so we may clarify for you how we are suffering from Israel’s persecution and oppression, and from the systematic terror and state terrorism they are carrying out.

We hope that you will give this letter the attention it deserves, and take note of the complete facts herein. Mr. President, I am a teacher at a United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) school. I have a son named `Amid `Azmi Ratib Abu Hasan, aged exactly nineteen years and seven months to the day at his death. He left our house to join his friends on April 10, 2002 after the invasion of the city of Jenin and Jenin Refugee Camp. Our house is in the city about a mile from the Refugee Camp.

We were startled when an Apache helicopter pummeled our home for more than five minutes with heavy machine gun fire. When the shelling stopped, it became clear that my son and his companion had been killed, and another child was critically wounded, as was an adult.

My family and I would like to clarify the following points for you:

1.The neighborhood where we live had not been the site of any militia activity or a single armed individual.

2.My son’s execution, and that of his companion, was in cold blood. Their execution was by means of helicopters in a place where the Israeli Army could have easily arrested them if it felt they were suspicious.

3. Is execution the appropriate punishment for going outside when the Army forbids movement by means of one of its “curfews?”

4. The Army prevented ambulances from approaching and transporting the wounded.

5. In your opinion, is my son, the one who had no weapons, the terrorist?

Or are the Israeli Army and their leaders the terrorists?

Mr. President, human rights organizations have documented this event and can arrive at the true facts. We are prepared to send additional information if you would like to know the truth. I hope that the investigation into this subject will be complete, and that the killer’s sentence will be a just punishment.

With the highest respect,

The mother of the martyr `Amid `Azmi Ratib Abu Hasan

Mrs. Ra’ida Rafiq Abu Hasan,

Teacher, Jenin Primary School for Girls, Burqin Street Jenin, Palestine