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The rise of 'shahada'

The concept of shahid re-emerges in the Palestinian discourse.
ATTENTION EDITORS – VISUALS COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH    Palestinian security forces carry the bodies of two Palestinians, who Israeli authorities say were involved in stabbing attacks on Israelis, before their funeral in the West Bank village of Qatana, near Jerusalem November 2, 2015. Israel on Sunday returned the bodies of the two Palestinians whom it accuses of stabbing Israelis.  REUTERS/Mohamad TorokmanTEMPLATE OUT  - RTX1UF38
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On Nov. 1, at the conclusion of the funeral for Raed Jaradat, who carried out the Oct. 26 stabbing attack in Beit Hanoun, an event took place that astounded those in attendance. Jaradat's father turned to the father of Dania Arshid, the teenager shot a few days earlier after trying to stab an Israeli soldier at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and on behalf of his dead son, he asked for the daughter's hand in marriage. Arshid had been buried the day before, but that did not stop her father from accepting on the spot. The two men kissed, and the audience cheered. The funeral turned into a bizarre wedding of “shahids” (martyrs).

This event is an example of the comeback “shahada” (martyrdom) has made in Palestinian Authority (PA) territories. After the end of the second intifada, in 2005, its presence in the Palestinian discourse decreased considerably. Now, however, it seems to have resurfaced to play an important role in the recent wave of violence.

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