Gazan Living in Egypt Posts Death Threat to Israeli Citizen
Mohammad Massad anticipated receiving death threats; he took it as an inevitable part of being an activist working against the Palestinian Authority (PA). And a serious threat was posted on Facebook just yesterday (3 June 2020). Massad is not one to sit back and take it.
Massad, former terrorist turned nonviolent social activist, puts himself out there openly writing about his hopes for the collapse of the PA. He even petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court in an effort to get the court to stop payment of the 800 million shekel emergency loan to the PA because he (and everyone else) knows that the money goes into the private bank accounts of the PA leadership and not to the people who need it.
While he has received threats in the past, nothing came close to the death threat he received yesterday. Gazan journalist Amer Balousha posted the following:
In English, this says:
Your death is getting closer, you collaborator you
I will publish news of your death on my Facebook page
Upon receipt of this death threat, Massad, resident of Haifa, notified the local police who immediately opened a file. He feels that they took the incident very seriously and is adament that there be follow-through with the Foreign Ministry and the Egyptian Embassy:
Israel has a peace treaty with Egypt. It is just not conceivable that an Israeli citizen can be threatened in this way by a resident of that country. If the peace is to be kept between Egypt and Israel, such people as Balousha cannot be allowed to threaten an Israeli citizen with death.
I asked him if threats such as these do not make him think twice about continuing with his activism; after all, he has seven children to raise. He responded calmly that he very much believes that God will take him when God is ready to do so and until then he wants to use his time here for good purpose.
Balousha now lives in Egypt. He was an unemployed law school graduate and then went on to work as a journalist and activist. The only thing available about him online in English are references to his arrests in Gaza in 2017 and 2019. Reliefweb wrote about the 2019 arrest:
Journalist and activist Amer Balousha, one of the ‘’We Want to Live’’ organizers, alleged he was tortured in custody on 16 March by Hamas security forces. He said he was put in stress positions and beaten. He started a hunger strike in the initial days of his arrest to protest his detention and prison conditions. He was transferred to Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza on 19 March for medical treatment for health concern related to his hunger strike. He was released from detention on 26 March.
According to Massad, Balousha is now in cohoots with Mohammad Dahlan, formerly of the Fatah party, currently living in exile in the United Arab Emirates and blamed for attempting a coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.
Balousha’s death threat follows a series of exchanges between him and Massad. On Facebook (27 May), Massad declared, among other things, that (rough translation provided by Facebook and slightly edited by me):
I have never hidden anything, not my actions, words or thoughts (I mean not a traitor like you and like your leadership), the traitor is the one who shows the opposite of what he is about and hugs you, smiling, only to stab you in the back,
On 29 May 2020, Balousha responded to Massad on Twitter, and a follower of Balousha suggested that Massad be “executed in a public square”:
اعدام .. بميدان عام ..
— فارس السكافي (@Mrfares28099898) May 29, 2020
The spokesperson for the Israeli police was unavailable for comment by the time this post went online.