On 6 July 2004 Professor Khaled Salah of An-Najah National University, along with son Muhammad, were killed by an Israeli attack unit. The Salah home was later demolished by six helicopter rockets.
A press conference by the wife and daughter of Prof. Khaled Salah
“If I am Palestinian they will kill me…If I am American they will kill me? should I be Jewish to be safe?”
“My name is Diana Khaled Salah, I am 23 years, the only daughter of Khaled Salah. He was more like a friend than a father. Last night, about one o? clock I heard a bomb explosion. I saw Israeli soldiers come into the house. My father rushed into my room. I told him, Dad, it is full of soldiers downstairs.”
“Are you kidding?” he said.
“No,” I answered.
‘He went to look in the kitchen. He rushed back and took me from my bedroom into another room.
“Our house is open, all rooms have windows and the windows were all open. The only room with three walls is the reception room (the living room). We all huddled there, Dad, Mum, Muhammad, Ali and I. We were all in one corner of the room for three hours. Three long hours. We could hear the shooting and bombing, they were using all kinds of weapons: tanks, rockets, helicopters and M-16s. Fire was crossing our house.
“We were so afraid but Dad said an Arabic expression: Let it be the money and not children. It means better to loose money better than souls. I was crying but he tried to cheer me up saying: I didn?t know that you are such a coward. Up until that moment we were all OK.”
(At this point Mrs. Salah interrupts saying, He knew no fear. He was a believer man. My husband used to read holy Quran and praying. Her voice is more composed than her daughter’s.).
“Minutes later, shooting stopped. It was so quiet. It is over! We thought. But then the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) started shouting over loudspeakers: Open the doors! All people out of the building! Dad went to open the door but he couldn?t move it. The lock of the door was damaged from the bombing so the door could not be moved. He went to his bedroom window, held his hands and called in English to the soldiers: We can?t open the door. The door is damaged. I am a peaceful man. We all are peaceful people. I have children. My daughter has an American citizenship. I have an American green card, I have no weapons. Only my children are here. Come and open the door. I can’t open it. Then in Arabic he shouted: Help… help? somebody come and open the door.
“Suddenly we heard shooting and my Dad?s voice stopped. Mum ran in to find my Dad lying on the floor. She called to him, Khaled.. Khaled?what happened? She came back crying and told us, they killed your dad.
“At that same moment my little brother Ali and I were still in that corner. But my other brother, Muhammad, was on the floor. My Mum asked me, what?s wrong with Muhammad?
“I said I don?t know. I can see him there?I thought maybe he was kidding. We called to him. He didn?t answer. Then we saw blood coming out of his mouth. But we could feel him breathing. Mum cried for help and tried to open the door but they started to shoot.
“I shouted, Mum don?t open! Please… Please ? I have no dad now? I don?t want to lose you too. I don’t want to be alone.
“When mum called to the soldiers for help they mocked and told her to shut up. We then called the neighbors. We thought maybe someone can open the door. One of our neighbors, a 17 year old boy, came and tried to open the door. The soldiers threatened him but he continued pull at the door. Mum was pushing from inside and the boy was pulling from the outside. Finally the door opened. We begged the Israeli soldiers to let us pull out my dad and brother?s bodies, but they refused and threatened to kill us too.
At this point the mother adds:
“We were shocked when we came out of the flat and saw the huge number of soldiers. Almost every two meters there was a sniper. We are not in a war.”
Finally Diana ends her testimony saying: “If I am Palestinian they will kill me…If I am an American they will kill me? should I be Jewish to be safe?”
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