Amira Hass, Haaretz; 21 December 1992
The women are still hopeful, the elderly are not
[translated by Prof. Israel Shahak]
Seven year old Salah stared astonished a the television screen and said: "There is Daddy". Along with millions of television viewers in the Middle East, and apparently around the world, on Friday night he saw his father, Dr. Dmar Farwana, behind the bars of one of the deportation trucks and heard him announce in English: "We have been held here for hours without knowing what is happening with us. This is a massive deportation".. Farwana family heard about Omar’s deportation from a neighbor, Faher Sharta, a Reuters and SSC reporter who had also been slated for deportation but whom external pressure brought to his release on Thursday. Before the television broadcast Omar’s father still hoped that there had been a mistake: Taher had indeed seen him taken to the bus, but everyone’s eyes had been blindfolded, and it was dark and cold. Perhaps they took Omar off the bus. But the broadcast dashed his hopes, He cannot describe in words how he felt when he thus saw his eldest son, the doctor, who studied in England and specialized in fertility problems in Australia. On Monday night, when Shin Bet agent "Abu Ali" and a group of soldiers came to arrest Omar, they concluded at home that it was detention for the purpose of interrogation, Omar was one of two representatives of the Islamic bloc in the Gaza Physicians’ Union. His first post had been at the religious association established by Sheikh Yassin in the late 70’s, al Mujma’ al-Islami, His piety was therefore no secret. Omar was twice an administrative detainee in the course of the Intifada, his brother and several friends said. Twice he appealed and twice the length of the detention was shortened. Only one month ago he returned from his specialization studies in Australia, "They let him travel without any problem and let him return. In Gaza he works at two clinics: From 8:00 a,m. to 2:00 p,m. as a general practitioner, and from 3:00 to 8:00 p,m. as an infertility and impotency specialist. At 8:00 or 9:00 p,m, there is a curfew, and then he receives patients at home, When did he have the time to do anything else?"
When the scope of the arrests became known, the family surmised that "Rabin simply needed to show his credentials to the Israeli public". When they heard about the deportations, they thought that Shabak had succeeded in locating many culprits, And when they saw Omar among them, "we finally understood that the deportees were a way to satisfy the Israelis and to cool off their feelings of frustration and revenge". Even for Omar’s brothers it was difficult to describe what they felt when they saw theIr brother among the deportees. My two year old son, said one brother, saw his uncle on television and announced: "When I grow up I will kill all of the Jews". With an apologetic smile the father tried to explain that the boy is only two years old, and only knows that his uncle was taken away, and had no other way to express his anger. "That is why he indulges in fantasies that he will kill all of the Israelis".
– The Israelis or the Jews?
"Kill the army, he said, kill the army". Only men were in the living room of the Farwana family, and between the cups of tea they drank, the conversation wandered from the snow and cold in Lebanon to non confidence in what is called the peace process, from Abu Omar’s recollections from his native city Haifa and Wadi Nisnas, to the difficulties of life under prolonged curfew, Finally the conversation came round to Hamas, "We all support Hamas", someone said, and another tried to explain: "He means that we are all Moslems, that we all believe in the Quran.
Even the Fatah",
– What about a political solution to the conflict? .
"Is it alright for me to live in your house? Is that alright? You yourself heard, Abu Omar comes from Haifa",
– Does that mean that Israel must be destroyed?