Thursday, January 24, 2008


NBC's Fletcher Unable to Distinguish Terrorists (LGF)

NBC Tel Aviv bureau chief Martin Fletcher has gone so thoroughly native in the West Bank that he’s turning in pieces like this one—showing the “human side” of a family of brutal terrorist murderers: One man’s terrorist, another’s freedom fighter.

NABLUS, West Bank – It is hard for me to describe Ahmed Sanakreh as a terrorist, although I know it’s true. Hard, because I got to know him and his family quite well, and when you understand people, it’s hard to hate them: Twenty-year-old Ahmed, baby-faced with black hair sticking up in gelled spikes, and a passion for his Nokia 90 cell phone; and his elder brother, Alaa, the intense, hollow-cheeked leader of the Palestinian al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus. They are the hard core of the hard core.

Although Alaa was the leader, Ahmed was the one Israel most wanted dead. I often asked Alaa why his younger brother had so many bodyguards, and Alaa would only smile mysteriously. But one day he confirmed Israel’s claims: that Ahmed blew up an Israeli officer, and was the bomb-maker behind other suicide bombers.

Alaa, Ahmed and their friend Nasser abu Aziz were my de facto guides to the Palestinian side of the second Intifada (uprising). They were terrorists to the Israelis, freedom fighters to their neighbors, and sources to me.

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