On this date in 2003, Samer Ufi and Mohamed Faraj (some sources give the latter’s name as Suleiman) were publicly shot by masked al-Aqsa gunmen in the West Bank town of Tulkarem (or Tulkarm) for Israeli collaboration.
A videotape of the two admitting to supplying Israel information which led to militants’ assassination was played in the camp on the eve of their shooting. The dead men’s families contended that they had been tortured into the confession.
Tulkarem in 2003 was a place easy to feel under siege.
Isabel Kershner reports in Barrier: The Seam of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
Some eighteen to twenty-two thousand Palestinian laborers from the Tulkarm district used to go and work in Israel every day. Now they are prevented by the security barrier that went up during 2003 … an eight-meter-high concrete wall complete with round gray watchtowers, built to prevent Palestinian snipers from shooting at passing cars on the Trans-Israel Highway that skirts Tulkarm to the west. Additional stretches of fence hermetically seal the surrounding villages off from Israel, as well as from some of their agricultural land.
Meanwhile, as elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza, a a fast-growing list of assassinations struck militants in the community.
We don’t know in these parts whether the executed men truly were informers, but Israel is known to obtain many such targets by way of informers — often reluctant Palestinians it blackmails or bribes. Accused informers are regularly executed in the Palestinian territories.
“For myself, if I were Palestinian, I would hate them to death,” an Israeli intelligence advisor told the BBC of the collaborators recruited by Tel Aviv. “He is a traitor — I need him — but he’s a traitor”.
Part of the Themed Set: Illegitimate Power.