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Wife, brothers describe Israeli assassinations

Dec. 26, 2009 3:46 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 28, 2009 4:15 P.M.)
Nablus - Ma'an - Family members of three slain Fatah members gave testimony of the last moments of their loved ones' lives on Saturday, hours after the men were assassinated by Israeli forces in their own homes in Nablus.

Raed Sarakji, 38

Now a widow, Tahani Ja’ara is 32 years old and seven months pregnant. "We were sleeping in our bedroom, not bigger than six square meters, when Israeli soldiers began yelling 'get out, get out.' I thought I was dreaming. When I heard the Israeli soldiers and their police dogs outside the room, that was when I realized it was real."

Tahani said her husband told soldiers he would get out of the house, so they started shooting through the door and the windows. “He fell between my hands bleeding. I started crying 'they killed him, they killed him.' Then soldiers broke the door and got in. He was already dead, but they continued to riddle his body with bullets to make sure he was killed."

Three months before his death, Sarakji opened a used tools shop in the Old City of Nablus. He had just been released from Israeli prison in January 2009 after spending seven years in jail. He was trying to restart his life, according to Tahani.

According to a statement from the Israeli military, Sarkaji was involved in the manufacture of explosives and the establishment of an explosives-manufacturing laboratory in Nablus.

Ghassan Abu Sharkh, 39

Ghassan's 16-year-old brother Diyaa Abu Sharkh saw him shot dead Saturday morning. “Everything happened very quickly… when we opened the door and saw the soldiers, two masked collaborators pointed to my brother Ghassan who was walking down the stairs. Before I knew it he was being shot. I couldn’t really make sense of what was going on at all. Then an Israeli officer asked me whether the dead man was Ghassan, and I said yes. 'Good, then ask everybody to leave the house,' the officer said."

“I was stading close to Ghassan when they killed him. They could have detained him very easily. He passed to join my brother Nayif who was killed by Israeli forces a few years ago [2004].”

Ghassan Abu Sharkh was a car electrician and owned a small workshop. He left behind a wife, three sons, and a daughter.

The Israeli military's statement included no specific allegations against Ghassan, only his late brother.

Anan Subih, 33

Farid Subih is 45; his brother Anan was killed Saturday morning in the Ras Al-Ain neighborhood of Nablus. “At 3am, dozens of Israeli troops surrounded our four-story building. They blew open the the main gate then started shooting randomly and throwing grenades in all directions. Anan was inside, and he asked everybody to leave the building to avoid being hurt.”

He continued, “We headed to the nearby house of the Al-‘Amoudi family. Then soldiers entered the house with police dogs, and they started throwing more grenades, and a fire erupted in the warehouse full of plastic chairs and sponge material.

“My brother was not armed, but we could see soldiers continue to ransack the house. For three hours, we didn’t know what was going on. After the soldiers left, we found Anan dead … bullets tore all his body and bones. They could have detained him, and he died believing he had been granted amnesty by Israeli forces. He left behind a widow, two sons, and five daughters,” added Farid.

According to the Israeli military, Annan was killed after an exchange of fire and was "found in a hiding place along with weapons and ammunition."

Anan had been affiliated with Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades years before, but he was completely pardoned in an amnesty deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
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