إلى مصطفى Dear Mustafa,

Tomorrow is Friday again, and like every Friday since 2009 Nabi Saleh will protest in the face of occupation. However, unlike every Friday, tomorrow we will commemorate the murder of a comrade, a resisting Palestinian, you. Nabi Saleh will be fearlessly, courageously, and defiantly resisting an illegal occupation. But you already know that. You yourself died in the name of Palestine, in the name of Nabi Saleh, Akka, Yaffa, Jerusalem, in the name of a free Palestine, in the name of justice, in the name of dignity. A year. An entire year. That’s how long it has been since a cowardly Israeli soldier shot you directly with a teargas canister from only a few meters. We have not forgotten. We have not forgotten how the Israeli army delayed your treatment, or how your mother had to get permission from the very soldier that shot you to see you as you bid farewell to this life. We have not forgotten the deathly silence broken by the cries of your friends and family in Nabi Saleh that evening. We have not forgotten the trail of your pure red blood on the road. We have not forgotten you Mustafa, we have not forgotten any of our martyrs. December 9th was a dark day for all of us in Nabi Saleh. Hell had opened its doors, and you had suffered its wrath. I remember you that day, you were wearing a white button up, and like most of the shabab eager to go fight, to resist, even if it meant your death.


How are you Mustafa? You left the embrace of your mother, only to be embraced by the soil of our beautiful Palestine. I remember your funeral; the eyes of the strongest people I know shed tears. They were all crying while simultaneously singing and chanting. Little five year old Janna kept asking soldiers why they murdered you, her best friend. But we all know the answer to that. You resist, and they fear resistance, their colonial mind feared you, a young and defiant resistor. You dared say I deserve freedom, and that scares them. We are still searching for the coward that shot you Mustafa. The coward that feared your resisting soul. The coward that hid behind his gun, suit, and armored jeep while you stood in front of him with an open chest and a stone. The coward that thought by murdering you he is silencing you. But you are not silenced, are you Mustafa? Your soul, your resisting soul is still here. In the hearts of every resistor, those you personally knew and those you didn’t, and it’s louder than ever. The occupation is still here. The colonialism is still at work, but so is the resistance. A lot has happened since you left, no, I should say died, because you didn’t really leave, you’re just not physically here. You are alive in us. All of us. It’s been a year, and a lot has happened Mustafa. Israel assaulted Gaza again, more Palestinians were killed, did you see them Mustafa? Did you meet your Gazan brothers and sisters?
1- Ahmad Al-Ja’bary, 52 years old.
2-Mohammed Al-hams, 28 years old.
3- Rinan Arafat, 7 years old.
4- Omar Al-Mashharawi, 11 moonths old.
5-Essam Abu-Alma’za, 20 years old.
6-Mohammed Al-qaseer, 20 years old.
7- Heba Al-Mashharawi, six-month pregnant, 19 years old.
8- Mahmoud Abu Sawawin, 65 years old.
9- Habis Hassan Mismih, 29 years old.
10- Wael Haidar Al-Ghalban, 31 years old.
11- Hehsam Mohammed Al-Ghalban, 31 years old.
12- Rani Hammad, 29 years old.
13- Khaled Abi Nasser, 27 year old.
14- Marwan Abu Al-Qumsan, 52 years old.
15- Walid Al-Abalda, 2 years old.
16- Hanin Tafesh, 10 months old.
17- Oday Jammal Nasser, 16 years old.
18- Fares Al-Basyouni, 11 years old.
19- Mohammed Sa’d Allah, 4 years old.
20- Ayman Abu Warda, 22 years old. (Continue list)


There was a so called ceasefire, but you’re no fool to such labels Mustafa, that’s just what they are, labels. Israel continues to attack Gazans and invade their airspace, and the strip is still besieged, Palestine is still besieged. Palestinians didn’t stay quiet during the assault though. Many Palestinians everywhere protested, whether it was in Akka, Jerusalem, Jenin, Nablus, Khalil, Batuniya, and of course your beloved Nabi Saleh. We didn’t remain silent. Just like we won’t remain silent until you and all the martyrs get justice. We lost two more Palestinians Mustafa; Hamdi Falah, and Rushdi Tamimi. Both were shot directly by Israeli soldiers as they stood with Gaza. Both have now joined you Mustafa. Your beloved best friend Rushdi is buried next to you. Did you see him? If you do, tell him Nariman misses him dearly, tell him Manal misses him as well, tell him his four year old Gazal was at his funeral in a beautiful gray dress, that forced everyone to smile through their tears tell him Nabi Saleh misses him. Tell him we all miss him. We all miss you too Mustafa. Oh so dearly. It has been a year, but it still feels like yesterday you were in your white button up laughing, teasing your friends and family, resisting. We remember you Mustafa, because you are not a number. You are not a number.

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