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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Palestinians ambivalent about Saddam`s capture

IRNA

Al-Khalil, Dec 15, IRNA -- Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and 
Gaza strip have showed mixed reactions to the Sunday capture of former
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. 
Many Palestinians, especially the uneducated or poorly-educated 
segments, reacted with consternation, even sadness, to the disgraceful
end of Hussein. 
"What happened to Saddam is a disgrace to all Arabs and Muslims," 
opined Iyad Natshe, a cabby from al-Khalil in the southern West 
Bank. 
"It is true he was a dictator, but he was also a symbol of the 
Arab nation," he said. 
However, another cabby standing nearby retorted, reminding Natshe 
that Saddam killed and tortured millions of Iraqis and waged a bloody
war on neighboring Iran which cost the Iraqi and Iranian peoples 
millions of victims. 
"He killed his own people. He can`t be good to us." 
As the argument got heated, other cabbies awaiting their turn at 
the small parking lot in downtown al-Khalil, joined the street 
debate. 
"Who are you to say Saddam is bad?" shouted one cabby. "He is the 
only Arab leader to hit Tel Aviv," he added, alluding to the launchin
g 
of some 30 scud missiles on Israel in 1991. 
Another cabby hit back, charging those who supported Saddam 
Hussein were "ignorant and know very little of what is going on." 
"It is true he hit Tel Aviv and helped the intifada, but he 
turned Iraq into a huge mass grave and he caused the death of millions
of innocent people. If Saddam was not good for his own people, we 
shouldn`t like him." 
This spontaneous debate by and large epitomizes the way most 
Palestinians feel about Saddam Hussein. 
Many Palestinian intellectuals, however, are breathing a sigh of 
relief at the demise of an Arab tyrant. 
"I believe his arrest is good news. It shows other dictators and 
tyrants that their day is coming," said Ahmed Awwad, a college 
instructor from the small town of Halhul north of al-Khalil. 
"People shouldn`t feel sorry for the death or demise of dictators.
They are the original sin of all troubles facing the Arab and Muslim 
Umma." 
Some Palestinians hope that the capture of Saddam Hussein will 
exert pressure on the US to withdraw its occupation army from Iraq. 
However, still some others hope that the Iraqi resistance will 
continue to give the Americans a big headache and deprive George 
W. Bush of a chance to be re-elected, despite the capture of the 
former Iraqi dictator. 
/NK/BH/212 
End 



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