My clown is in an Israeli prison, again!

Are Israeli mothers and fathers resting better knowing Palestinian children will not be smiling?

Sam Bahour
5 min readJul 9, 2023

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Mohammad Abu Sakha (Antar) Credit: Palestinian Circus School

In the lead-up to the most recent Israeli military onslaught on the Jenin Refugee Camp in the north of the West Bank, Israeli intelligence was at its all-time best. Aware that Israel had decided to undertake wanton destruction of the Jenin Refugee Camp, yet again, Israeli security teams were on the lookout for the most dangerous Palestinians.

It was a Friday, June 9, 2023. As has become the norm these days, dozens of Israeli soldiers were staked out on the main road in the Palestinian village of Huwwara, stopping and searching Palestinian cars on a whim. This road, Route 60, is the main artery for anyone traveling from Ramallah in the central West Bank to the north of the West Bank, to the cities of Nablus and Jenin, among others. Earlier this year, Huwwara, you may recall, was the location of the pogroms carried out by hundreds of Israeli settlers (protected by Israeli soldiers) that wreaked havoc and death on the Palestinian community there.

It is through the Huwwara checkpoint that thousands of Palestinians must pass every day, especially during the weekend when many who work and stay in Ramallah during the week, return to visit their families up north for the weekend.

It was at that checkpoint and in broad daylight that Israeli soldiers made their catch.

He was driving his private car. He approached the checkpoint when ordered to by the soldiers. Like most vehicles crossing at that time, it was waved down to stop. As soldiers collected his identification card, it caught their attention. They ordered him to exit the car. He was handcuffed, blindfolded, and whisked away in a military jeep. That is the last we have seen of him.

Who was this strategic threat to the mighty state of Israel, that nuclear-armed regional military super-power, that Israel made disappear?

It was a clown, literally! Not any clown, but our clown; the Palestinian Circus School’s clown.

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