Skip to comments.Palestinians celebrate attacks with gunfire
Posted on 09/11/2001 1:08:08 PM PDT by rebdov
Palestinians celebrate attacks with gunfire
|Reuters | Sky News | Economist.com | Photos
Tuesday September 11, 06:35 PM
Palestinians celebrate attacks with gunfireBy Joseph Logan
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Palestinians in Lebanon have greeted news of the devastating attacks on American targets with jubilant gunfire, dancing and cheering, saying Israel's chief backer deserved such a punishment.
"This is the result of American policy. America and Israel are one," one Palestinian gunman said.
"This is the reaction required to confront the American and Israeli arrogance," said Mohamad Hallak, a 40-year-old Palestinian refugee from the Rashidiyeh camp in Tyre.
Celebratory firing rattled across Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and the West Bank, however, as soon as television stations broke the news, carrying live footage of New York buildings on fire and collapsing and terrified Americans fleeing the carnage.
Jubilant Palestinians took to the streets of refugee camps in Lebanon and the West Bank, waving Palestinian flags and distributing sweets to celebrate the attacks on major U.S. landmarks and government offices.
Some Lebanese shared the joy.
"We're ecstatic. Let America have a taste of what we've tasted," said Ali Mareh, a Lebanese resident of Beirut.
"People are happy. America has always supported terrorism. They see how the innocent Palestinian children are killed and they back the Zionist army that does it. America has never been on the side of justice," said Samir, a Lebanese.
"This is the language that the United States understands and this is the way to stop America from helping the Zionist terrorists who are killing our children, men and women every day," said Palestinian Mohamed Rasheed.
Lebanon is home to some 360,000 Palestinian refugees. After four generations of exile, many feel embittered against the United States for its support of Israel -- a feeling which has grown during the present uprising in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza.
Ordinary Egyptians too said the United States deserved the deadly attacks, saying justice was being served for Washington's "bias" towards Israel and against the Arabs.
"This was an expected thing, because of the conditions in Palestine and the U.S. control over Arabs and people. People have reached a state of despair," said Mohamed Suleiman, a 41-year-old artist, in Cairo.
Asked about the loss of innocent lives in the attacks in New York and Washington, Suleiman shouted: "And what about the Palestinians?...Aren't they civilians as well? Now the United States can feel what it's like to be under attack."
Sixteen-year-old Radwa Saleh said the United States had got what it deserved for turning a blind eye towards Palestinian suffering and for being "a staunch supporter of Israeli practices against Palestinian civilians".
"Palestinians are innocent too," she said, walking off down a busy street in downtown Cairo.
Samira Mohamed, a 26-year-old lawyer, said she was delighted by news of the attacks.
"Do you want to hear my honest opinion?" she asked. "I was very happy when I heard the news. My happiness is based on my utter rejection of the U.S. treatment of the Middle East case."
Mohamed said she was sorry about the civilian casualties, but said the attacks were an appropriate response to U.S. policies in the region.
Palestinians who have often burned U.S. flags in protests during their 11-month-old uprising against Israeli occupation also celebrated in Arab East Jerusalem.
"I feel I am in a dream. I never believed that one day the United States would come to pay a price for its support to Israel," said Mustafa, a 24-year-old Palestinian gunman.
Several dozen Palestinian youths gathered in East Jerusalem to celebrate, honking out wedding tunes on their car horns.
"We are so happy that America was hit. America is against us in supporting Israel," Suleiman, one of the demonstrators, said.
In Nablus, motorists honked horns and gunmen fired into the air to cheer on the attacks which unfolded within a few hours and stunned people around the globe.
Israel and the Palestinians have been locked in fighting since the Palestinian uprising against occupation erupted last September after peace talks stalled.
Reaction was mixed elsewhere in Lebanon. Many people, used to wars, bombardment and destruction of their cities, watched the news in disbelief and shock.
"Who could believe this is happening in the capitals of the world's only superpower?," said one Beirut resident.
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, meanwhile, condemned the attacks, which levelled the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City and struck the Pentagon in Washington.
"I send my condolences, the condolences of the Palestinian people to American President (George W.) Bush and his government and to the American people for this terrible act," Arafat told reporters in Gaza.
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was also quick to offer condolences to U.S. President George W. Bush.
"These tragic actions contradict all human and religious values," Hariri said in a statement.
The Islamist Hizbollah guerrilla group, which in the past carried out suicide bomb attacks against U.S targets in Lebanon, declined comment on Tuesday's attacks.
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We cannot believe a WORD that Arafat says. He is a KNOWN liar. They are deliberately trying to shield to the Muslims from their deserved condemnation with the crocodile tears of that bastard Arafat. We should target him now.
This just in: another building in NYC is apparantly ready to collapse. Building #7? of the WTC? That is what I just heard on CNN News.
Well, they just lost their innocence, what there was of it.
If there were any American citizens sympathetic to the Palestinian situation, that just ended. I don't think that we are the ones that will learn a lesson. It ain't over yet. Ask the Japanese what happens when you wake the sleeping giant........
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