“When I saw the DVD, I started to worry about our future,” said Muhammad, a young Gazan father of three who works for the Palestinian Authority. “It was so cruel. I couldn’t watch. I only looked at the still shots.” Muhammad bought the DVD “out of curiosity,” he said.“Of course, I did not bring it home to my children. I watched it in my office.” The clip starts with masked men reading the charges and justifying their actions based on Islam. They accuse the American civilian of assisting the “allied occupation forces,” place the knife at his head, and start to cut. When done, they hold up the severed head. “They used a knife which was not sharp…It seems they wanted to kill him slowly to torture him,” said another Palestinian who saw the footage. “The worst thing I remember is the howl of the poor hostage…He was shaking all over. It’s hard to imagine how anyone can watch it.”
Muhammad said he believes most buy it out of curiosity, but he acknowledged that there is growing anger at the United States for its “occupation of Iraq,” which many compare to Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza. “Those selling the DVD do it for the money. They download it from the Internet for free and then sell it for NIS 15.”
Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’s group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the recent beheadings of two American civil engineers—Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley—taken hostage with British civil engineer Kenneth Bigley. Bigley was beheaded in October.
By Lamia Lahoud, Jerusalem Post
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