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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · History · #2307720
The commander of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigade (the military wing of Hamas)
Alex Dancyg, an old man of 75, was tied to his chair. He was one of those captured by the Al-Aqsa Flood attack on Israel on October 7th, 2023 from the Nir-oz kibbutz. He had devoted his life to the study of the Holocaust and was well-known as an author of books about Poland's Jewish community. Though born in Poland he had moved to Israel at age 9 returning as an interpreter for school kids visiting the German concentration camp at Auschwitz many years later.

He looked around at the chilly prefab concrete walls holding up the ceiling. He wondered at how far above him the streets of Gaza were. How would the Israeli Defence Forces ever find him here?

A door to the right of him opened and two armed Hamas militants entered the room followed by a man in a wheelchair with an eye patch over one eye. Alex had heard the rumors about Mohammed Deif, commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigade, but now he could see him for himself. His injuries were he knew the result of seven attempts to assassinate him. There was no known recent picture of the man but the man before him had the authority and gravitas of a leader and the injuries of the legendary man in the shadows.

"Mohammed Deif, I presume," he said.

The man neither confirmed nor denied his claim but studied him for a moment.

Alex was too old to be scared about his life, which had been a full one and decided to speak frankly.
"You do realize that I and many of the others you kidnapped are peace activists with Palestinian leanings. You have kidnapped your friends to hold your enemies to account."

"Peace!" The man spat the word as if were bloody flem from diseased lungs. "It is a little late for that, the blood of the martyrs calls too loudly for the extermination of your people and the removal of all trace of a Jewish state founded on murder and corruption from our lands. A bunch of drug-addled rich kids on vacation are hardly the best ambassadors for our cause."

"People have tried this before, how did it turn out for the Nazis?"

"Maybe they did not have our passion, nor the wounds that you have inflicted to drive them, the Al Aqsa Flood is revenge on those who desecrate the holy places and prevent the faithful from worshipping Allah. It is righteous anger in reaction to decades of abuse and injustice."

"Do you truly believe that Allah smiles on those who kill the innocent and talk of genocide?" Alex asked.

"It was Israel that started this war, they have their own Hamas prisoners and have been doing this for decades, we have been well trained in the dark arts by your people."

Alex Dancyg could see the man's resolution and thought he would try a different approach. "How will the international community read the killing of visitors to Israel and the lack of any moral discrimination by Hamas? I saw butchered babies and foreigners on my way to this underground prison. Most of these people were sympathetic to you...and now?"

"The world has forgotten us and has been silent about our plight, but we will not be ignored and our voice must be heard."

"Even if it leads to the annihilation of Hamas and the deaths of thousands of your people. Do you think the IDF will simply let you take us?" said Alex.

Mohammed Deif laughed at that, it was a cruel laugh that ended in a hacking cough, how long had he lived in these dusty caves Alex wondered?

"I am counting on them invading Gaza, the optics of that and the human casualties that will result are entirely in our favor. The one thing that the Western public cannot tolerate is high body bag counts. It is Israel that will come out of this smelling like shit not us."

"You will all be dead and Israeli public opinion will bury all hope of a two-state solution is the more likely result of such violence. Israel does not care about international opinion."

"If we die others will rise to take our place, this fight will never be over until Palestine is free. Hamas does not want a two-state solution. Israel's hate serves us better than their half-hearted sympathy. They only want to live in peace but we shall never let them do that."

"Maybe you underestimate my people, our pain is deeper and our loss has been greater, we have tried to live in peace and yet you stamp all over us and kill the innocent," Alex stated.

"This is just words, you were not in Auschwitz, you have not lost your wife, your brother and friends, and even your children to these monsters. Your suffering was then but ours is now," said Mohammed with some pain and conviction.

"No we will never forget those whom we lost and our pain will endure, we can never forget what was done to us. You do not know the pains we have overcome and that is why you will lose this war, just as Palestine has lost all its wars against Israel before this one. You cannot force those who have experienced genocide and survived it to simply roll over and die."

"Well, time will answer that one won't it, when the prey becomes the hunter then the world's compassion fades away," Mohammed Deif replied enigmatically and then rolled himself out of the room with a look of grim determination on his face.


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