Ramallah- “The beloved of all,” said Sheikh Salah al-Khawaja from the village of Ni’lin, west of Ramallah, describing his son as “al-Mu’taz Billah” after announcing that he carried out the “Dizengoff Street” operation in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening.
The father – a well-known figure in the Ramallah area in the center of the West Bank – stood up, and the effects of shock appeared on him, despite his cohesion, after the family recognized her son from pictures published by the occupation after his execution, and said, “He was a calm, religious person who was keen to perform prayers in mosques, and what he did responded It is normal for any Palestinian to see these massacres.”
The description of those close to the martyr Al-Moataz Billah (23 years old) or those who knew him did not differ from what his father said. He was known in the village for his calmness and high morals, as his cousin Muhammad Al-Khawaja told Al-Jazeera Net, adding, “Everyone who deals with Al-Moataz notices how calm, decent and loved he is by everyone.” in the family and the village.
And Muhammad – whose tears were overcome by talking about Al-Moataz Billah – said that he met him a week ago at his brother’s engagement party, and he did not show anything, and he was laughing and interacting with everyone as usual, adding, “What distinguishes Moataz most of his face and his calm smile.”
And local sources stated that Al-Moataz Billah was able to reach Tel Aviv after crossing “openings” in the wall separating his village, located on the border between the West Bank and the areas of the occupied interior in 1948.
A family with a national history
Al-Mu’taz Billah Al-Khawaja was born in 2000 in the village of Ni’lin. He is the third son of a family that has a long history of national action in confronting the occupation. His father, Sheikh Salah Al-Khawaja (51 years), is one of the leaders of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the West Bank. He was arrested several times in the occupation prisons and subjected to stalked and hunted for years.
Sheikh Salah Al-Khawaja is considered one of the men of reform in the region, and he was one of hundreds of Palestinian activists who were deported by Israel to Marj Al-Zuhour in southern Lebanon in the early 1990s.
Al-Moataz Billah studied in the village schools, but he was unable to complete his studies due to his arrest in the occupation prisons before he completed 17 years of age, then he was arrested 3 times later, the last of which was for a period of 22 months, and he was released in 2020.
After his release, Al-Moataz Billah worked in a home appliances store, which made him known to all the village, and according to his cousin, he was planning to build a house and get married.
Activists on the communication sites circulated the latest video that the martyr posted on his Facebook account, shortly before the shooting attack that he carried out on the famous “Dizengoff” Street in central Tel Aviv, injuring at least 4 Israelis, including one critically.
It appears that Al-Moataz is sitting in a cafe, and he attached his Facebook story to a prayer recording that reminds of verses urging jihad for the sake of God.
Attack and threaten his family
Two hours after the operation, large forces of the occupation army stormed the martyr’s house and the homes of his relatives located in the western part of the village, and vandalized and destroyed its contents.
The mayor of Nilin, Youssef Al-Khawaja, told Al-Jazeera Net that immediately after the name of “Al-Moataz Billah” was announced, the perpetrator of the Tel Aviv operation, large forces of the occupation army gathered at the entrances to the village, and after two hours they stormed and raided the house.
Immediately after the raid, the occupation soldiers separated the women from the men, conducted field investigations with all members of his family individually, and threatened to demolish the house for those in it.
The storming of the village lasted more than 6 hours, during which the occupation used additional forces and a military bulldozer, and at 5:30 in the morning it withdrew after arresting his father and older brother Muhammad (28 years) after brutally beating him.
The mayor said that the occupation intended to demolish the house, but retracted it because it is located on the first floor of a family building belonging to the martyr’s father and uncles.
Despite the calm that al-Moataz enjoyed, and everyone talked about him, his relatives were not surprised by what he had done in terms of “revenge for the blood of the martyrs killed by Israel in Jenin” during the past days. paternal aunt.
Tags: Everyones Beloved . carried Dizengoff attack Tel Aviv Policy