Written by Memri
In an article titled "We Are All Martyrdom-Seekers," published in the Gaza-based daily Filastin, which is close to Hamas, columnist Fakher Shreteh said that the salvation of the Palestinian people would only be achieved through resistance, gunpowder, and "the shedding of blood that would water the land," and that he who loved life more than death would always be the one to lose the fight.Following are excerpts: 
"In the land of the holy altar, Gaza, we sacrifice our lives. Like the ram of Abraham, we die standing proud so that Palestine may live. Upon the holy altar, we sacrifice our lives to redeem the soil of our homeland so that we can all live – for we are the martyrdom-seekers [who follow the legacy] that was written in the blood of our leaders: Yasser 'Arafat, [Hamas founders] Ahmad Yassin and ['Abd Al-'Aziz] Al-Rantisi, [the founder of Islamic Jihad in Palestine] Fathi Shqaqi, [Popular Front Secretary-General] Abu 'Ali Mustafa, and all the others who sacrificed their lives for the homeland, bearing their [burial] shrouds in their own hands. We regard them all as martyrs... They did not neglect giving [themselves] for the sake of the [Palestinian state] – the state of freedom and brotherhood, the present and future homeland. We, the martyrdom-seekers, will be happy on the wedding day of our self-sacrifice, because Jerusalem has grown in our hearts and a love of Al-Aqsa has flowed in our blood and veins. Our naked bodies are bombs that blow the enemy to pieces, and our souls are gunpowder that shatters the myth of the invincible Zionist army.
"The Palestinian people will only be saved through the shedding of blood that will water the land, and with gunpowder and resistance, which protect [our] honor and deter the enemy. The matter at hand is the stolen homeland and the honor of a tragedy-stricken people, which will only be restored through blood. This is what we learned from 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam, and also from 'Ata Al-Zeir, Muhammad Jamjoum, and Fouad Hajazi [three Palestinians executed by the British in 1930 for their participation in the 1929 Palestine riots]. In their footsteps followed the martyr 'Imad 'Aqel [commander of the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades], Ahmad Abu Al-Rish [a prominent Fatah fighter in the First Intifada], [Majid] Al-Harazin [a senior Islamic Jihad combatant], and many others who sought death so that we could be given life...
"How can [our struggle fail] when we have an inspiration [and a model of] endurance: 'Umm Muhammad Al-Sheikh, the Palestinian Al-Khansa, who parted with her five sons, one after another – Muhammad, general commander of the Al-Quds Brigades, Mahmoud, Sharaf, Ashraf, and Ahmad? [She] sacrificed them to Allah so that they could serve [her] as a trust and [ensure her] everlasting life [in the world to come]. She parted with them in this world as martyrs in order to greet them in Paradise as nobles."
"The ummah has understood that the liberation of Al-Aqsa and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state will not come to be without victims, coffins, and funerals, nor without pain, suffering, and sickness. As the late Palestinian leader Abu 'Amar [Yasser 'Arafat] said, is there anyone in Palestine who does not long for martyrdom? We all seek martyrdom. Israel's aerial, artillery, and missile strikes continue, and martyrs fall each day... All of us, young and old, men and women, remember the famous words: 'Millions of martyrs are marching on Jerusalem.' When the knight Dr. Fathi Al-Shqaqi was asked, before he was murdered, about [his] fear of death, he said: 'I have lived longer than I should.' The sheikh of the mujahideen, Ahmad Yassin, said: 'I will remain a mujahid, Allah willing, until my homeland is liberated, as I am not afraid of death.' Death for the mujahideen is [only] the beginning of life for the sake of the homeland, while he who loves life more than death will lose any confrontation with the enemy, as the blood of the martyrs is the perfume of the ummah, its ornament and its strength.
"The conclusion to be reached from all this is that continuing to irrigate the land with Palestinian blood is the true [way of] belonging [to Palestine] and the true sign of ownership of it, for the ummah that gives is the most fitting to receive, and the people that resists [its occupiers] is the most fitting to endure. It is better to die in honor than to live in humiliation. We will die standing tall without paying heed to this world.
"The Zionist army, which was stricken by frustration and fear before these warriors and martyrdom-seekers, [could not] stop the self-sacrifice operations, which were like a fist smashing the fingers of the occupier and which confused him in their resolution and tenacity. Faced with this, he was unable to advance, expand [or pursue] his aspirations. The Palestinian resistance struck dread among the Zionist occupying army, and it was expelled from Gaza trailing disappointment and disgrace in its wake. The mujahideen sowed fear in the souls of the occupation soldiers, who began to tremble at the sight of the warriors brandishing a rifle in their hands and with a Koran at their breast.
"As the Israelis know, today is not like yesterday. They are now facing the great army of mujahideen and anticipating the day they will meet [us]: the day of the marriage of martyrdom and liberation, [when] the mujahid sacrifices his life for the sake of Allah in order to earn life in heaven. The Zionists know that their end will come at the pure hand of those who do not fear death, and through self-sacrifice operations, when [the martyrs] put their souls in the palms of their hands and bear their [burial] shrouds on their backs. The Jews also know that the Palestinians will stand up to them and wipe them out, according to the divine promise, when the divine decree is passed down."Endnotes:
 Filastin (Gaza), December 13, 2011.
 The funeral of a martyr is traditionally described as a wedding, with the martyr as a bridegroom who is joyously led to the Virgins of Paradise.
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