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As the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s popularity has grown, so has bizarre Israeli behavior. It is difficult to find another adjective to represent what is happening. Israeli soldiers are attacking Palestinian young people with Nasarallah’s photo as their mobile phone screen saver.
And this is not because the Israeli administration believes these to be people working with Hezbollah or even to be members of the armed Palestinian resistance. It is that there is pride and respect for someone who stood up to the occupation that must be destroyed, according to Mahmoud Ibrahim. He is among the young men recently attacked for his cell phone photo.
On Saturday morning Israeli soldiers attacked a group of young men and broke their mobile phones at the southern entrance of Jenin for having pictures of Hassan Nasrallah on them.
The young man, Mahmoud Ibrahim, was among them, and reported to PNN that the soldiers imposed a barricade along the main road between Jenin and Nablus in the northern West Bank. The concern was not to check identification, but rather to check cell phones. Anyone with a Nasrallah photo was detained, and that meant a lot of cars lined up in the detention area.
Ibrahim added, “The request was strange, but then I realized what the occupation soldiers’ goal was. They said the screen saver incited riots and after beating people for an hour, they destroyed the cell and threatened everyone with arrest.”
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“This is funny, sad, and strange, being treated like children and seeing the height of the warped nature of Israeli paranoia,” one West Bank journalist from Bethlehem said when asked for comment Saturday. He is a Palestinian man working for an international news agency and continued with the simple statement, “Screen savers do not incite riots, but restored pride does sometimes incite revolution against oppression.”
Another young man, Abdullah Riyad, said, “Israeli soldiers detained several young men at the same barrier and examined their cell phones. There were ten youths with his photo. Five soldiers were kicking and beating them, screaming, ‘You support Nasrallah and that means you are against Israel.’ What do they think? Who is with the occupation?”
Riyad added, “The rest of the detained people faced the same fate, with the soldiers using abusive words, their aggressive energy at a high level, and then besides the verbal abuse and the beatings, the punishment is not being allowed to travel and having their cellular phones destroyed.”
The young man concluded by telling PNN, “Israeli soldiers are also searching cars for cassettes as many sad songs for Beirut and Lebanon were released and other older songs became popular again. Several songs were written for Nasrallah also and then the regular nationalist music and the Allah victory song tapes too. Anyone found in procession of those now gets brutalized.”