RAMALLAH, January 15 (JMCC) - In February 1988, at the start of the first intifada
, then-teenager Wa'al Jawda was beaten brutally on film by four Israeli soldiers. The video, broadcast internationally, came to signify the uprising and Israeli military orders to break the bones of revolting Palestinians.
Today, Jawda lives a quiet life working for the Palestinian Tax Authority. Haaretz journalist Shay Fogelman tells his story
The Palestinian rocks had mercy on us, Jawda says jokingly, trying to explain how he and his cousin somehow escaped the attack with only minor injuries. I was bleeding from wounds on my shoulders and elbows, but my face hurt the most, from one of the kicks. The injuries from the rocks didn't hurt. Afterward the soldiers took us in a jeep to the Muqata, the old Civil Administration building. That evening they moved me to Fara'a Prison and left Usama because he didn't have an ID card. At night an officer came and took me back to the Muqata. No one said a word to me. They put me back with Usama, took us to eat and treated us relatively well. After that they put us in a detainees' tent. Then this senior officer entered - I later realized it was Amram Mitzna, the GOC Central Command. He told us everyone thought we were dead or seriously hurt, and a few minutes later he brought in about a dozen reporters and photographers. After they talked to us and asked how we were, Mitzna said we were free to go. We didn't quite understand what was happening, but we left the compound, we walked right out of the gate of the Muqata and couldn't believe it. I remember Usama telling me on the way that he thought they were pulling one over on the reporters. And I was afraid that we'd be arrested again the moment the cameras were gone. It was only when we got home that we understood that our story had been reported on television and the pictures had been seen all over the world, Jawda related.