“Every child in Palestine is a leader,” said Umm Qutaiba, the sister of Saleh al-Aruri, the deputy head of Hamas' political bureau who was assassinated in Beirut last Tuesday. Through the pain of separation, the agony of loss, and the sorrow and regret of lamentation, the woman tried to empty the spirit of Israel who had killed her brother.
But this challenge is not without truth – even if the whole thing seems exaggerated in the eyes of some or an attempt to show coherence and disbelief – this truth is built on three basic things, namely:
1 – harsh social environment; The Palestinian child is born into a social environment burdened with severe challenges, created by the presence of occupation, and nurtured by the stories of adults about their difficult experiences. These circumstances do not allow his childhood to be lived slowly so that it takes its natural course, but instead sets the stage for the anxieties and worries that await youth and adults in other societies.
As his lived experience deepens, the Palestinian child finds himself led to endure, decide, and choose as if he were no longer a child, but instead had to shoulder part of the weight of the people's cause. He owns, he learns to do this willingly, and without hesitation.
2- Law of Inheritance of Resistance; Societies that create an environment of incubation for resistance groups, organizations or sects make their children an integral part of this incubation, and sometimes give them roles in conveying messages and materials, and they are obliged – at all times – to live small. Opponents, or wait for them to take their place, when they grow up to be boys. Their role is not limited to bearing arms, but rather to performing life roles such as tilling the land, running a workshop, teaching and educating, or filling the soul and inspiring the will to struggle. Sacrifice for freedom.
3 – Practices of secret or public political organizations; These groups or sects cultivate their followers under a chain of command, and they take into account that their men are hunted down, they may be killed, imprisoned or exiled and removed from the scene, and they must replenish their human storehouses with alternatives. If a person is absent, leaving a void, it will soon be filled by another person. Otherwise, he is ready for the day.
Organizations with religious ideologies are no exception to this rule, but, as their experience tells us, they follow it more than others, not only in Palestine, but in all Islamic countries where they have existed, lived in danger, or engaged. Due to severe challenges, their efforts to achieve its objectives.
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the challenges increase, of course, for such organizations or factions, as they are always targeted, do not have a chance to breathe and need to continue their relentless struggle for survival. As they see great difficulties in mobilization and recruitment, the instinct is to remain vigilant.
There are three fundamental issues related to the Palestinian resistance's ability to replace its leaders or fill the void resulting from the loss of some of them. First, these organizations are accustomed to the non-biological death of their leaders. Even outside of occupation, they are not guaranteed to live to old age, as the hand of death can seize them at any moment. Territories. With the long arm of the Israeli Air Force, they may not be killed, but they are taken to prisons, isolated from the field, in conditions akin to death, and remain there for long periods of time.
Since the assassination of Ghazan Qanabani in Lebanon in 1972, Israel has not stopped pursuing Palestinian leaders until al-Aruri was killed, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Fathi al-Shaghaqi, Abu Ali Mustafa, Hassan Salama, and Abdel Salama. Aziz al-Randisi. It poisoned Yasser Arafat himself. As many confirm, the Palestinian arena was able to immediately mend the cracks.
The second point is that there is an abundance of leadership skills among protest movements. In addition to the training that takes place, the guerrilla warfare method of resistance prepares the individual to make or issue a decision. A command to himself on the battlefield, and not restrained — as regular as a soldier in an army — with orders coming to him from his direct command, which received them from a command above him.
As for the third point: it has to do with the age structure of those involved in armed action, since all of them – or the majority – must be young men capable of fighting, and this youthful nature prevails among them, which gives them continuous opportunities. To create qualified elements to play leadership roles.
A long and hard walk
Palestinian resistance movements have constantly had to fill their lives with two types of leaders: the first: field military leaders emerging from rigorous training and strict secrecy. Another: they are political leaders, with flexible speech and relatively free movement, and they organize and manage the affairs of the Palestinian interior and with the outside world, political representation, declaration of positions and negotiation.
The pictures of these leaders are placed on the wall of the Palestinian struggle for a while, and people get used to their faces, but they wake up in the morning to find them gone, and here the question arises: who can come after this, and make up for this absence? Only hours pass until the wondering ones find a new face that comes out to them, appears to them, and fills their eyes.
The opposition realizes that its path to liberation is long and difficult, so it deploys a co-pilot of no less skill or equal skill with the pilot, just as airlines operate on their planes. destination station in case something goes wrong with the original pilot. This becomes very necessary on very long journeys.
Of course, all healthy societies and states, when strong, have the ability to create alternatives, including administrative, political and military leaders, and economic and cultural ones, but this differs from opposition factions, at any time and place, in two respects: First: leadership is – in most cases – love. A matter and not a gain, especially for military or security leaders, who have their lives in their hands at all times. Second: Change and change of leadership among opponents is fast.
All this does not mean that its leaders, especially wise, brave prophets, do not lose resistance by killing some or not, but this is part of its destiny, which it believes, and can benefit from. It is in many cases. This is because the killing – as brutal as it is – gives its leaders an opportunity to prove that their fate is no different from that of the members of the communities that embrace the resistance and that their blood is no purer than that of the supporters. They and depend on them.
Al-Aruri was martyred at a time when the voices of detractors were rising. Its leaders are safe, living their lives in comfort in foreign hotels, while the people of Gaza seethe and burn. The assassination was in response to these voices, especially since al-Aruri himself spoke before his death. It is possible that he will be killed in forced exile, which he expects, not fears, from him, like other Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
For all this, al-Aruri's assassination did not represent a major gain for Israel, a difficult and elusive victory it sought to achieve in Gaza, or a cover-up for its military's brazenness. On October 7. 2023 “Al-Aqsa Flood” has increased since the outbreak.