The Israelis even exploited their new found 'Palestinian hero' to push forward the Apartheid fence approach to 'solving the conflict':
Terror `accomplice' was actually the hero
By Jalal Bana
Rami Mahmoud Zatam Mahameed, 17, of Umm al-Fahm, recuperating at Ha'emek Hospital in Afula yesterday.
(Photo: Oz Yosef )
An Arab youth arrested on suspicion of being an accomplice to last week's suicide bombing at the Umm al-Fahm junction has instead turned out to be the hero of the story - the person who alerted the police to the bomber's presence and thereby prevented a much more serious attack.
Rami Mahmoud Zatam Mahameed, 17, of Umm al-Fahm was arrested shortly after the bombing, which killed one person and injured three others, including himself. Police and Shin Bet security service agents found him in the intensive care unit of Ha'emek Hospital in Afula, where he was suffering from bleeding in the neck, stomach and liver, as well as a broken hand and leg, and required several operations. They promptly placed him under heavy guard, with a policeman in the room at all times, and forbade his family to visit him. They also obtained a gag order on the arrest from the Nazareth Magistrate's Court, which was lifted only yesterday.
Police told the court that they suspected Mahameed, who was sitting at a nearby bus stop when the attack took place, either of assisting the bomber or of having planned to assist him. Though the bomber blew himself up when he was stopped by a police patrol, police believe his original target was one of the many buses that stop at the site.
Upon further investigation, however, police discovered that Mahameed, far from having abetted the bomber, was the person who had called the police to report a "suspicious man" standing at the bus stop - the call that enabled them to nab the bomber before he boarded a bus. Upon receiving the call, the police station immediately sent the nearest patrol car to the site. The three troopers inside then asked the "suspicious man" to identify himself - at which point he detonated his explosives, killing one of the three policemen and injuring the other two.
Yesterday, police finally notified Mahameed's family that he was cleared of all suspicion and they were free to visit him in the hospital. But his family is still furious over the way he was treated. The boy, "wounded and bleeding," was "bound hand and foot for three days, without his family being allowed to visit him," his father, Mahmoud Mahameed, said angrily.
"Rami was a victim of the terror and the violence, like many residents of Umm al-Fahm and the Wadi Ara region," his father added. "The terror attacks, just as they are not a solution, also do not differentiate between Jew and Arab, and there have been several Arab victims of previous attacks ... We are against all violence and against harming civilians and innocents."
According to Mahmoud Mahameed, the only solution to the violence is a fence separating Israel from the West Bank - "us here and them there," he said.
[Ha'aretz - 24 Sept 2002]