Riven by violence and factional infighting, Palestinians were united yesterday in their loathing of the ailing Ariel Sharon.
As Mr Sharon underwent further surgery yesterday, there was no sympathy from Palestinians for whom his legacy is anything but the peace, courage and leadership for which he has been feted since falling ill.
For them, the list of his achievements is more brutal and violent.
“Sharon is a war criminal, a killer,” said Saaed Hamani, in his fifties, who was turned back by Israeli border guards as he tried to enter east Jerusalem to attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Dogs can pass to Jerusalem but not us. How can we remember with anything but animosity and hatred?”
Well, dogs don’t tend to blow up as many civilians.
The “separation barrier”, which snakes through the West Bank and has choked Palestinians’ freedom of movement, is a focus of hatred, and yesterday there was nothing but vitriol for the man who ordered it built.
“He mustn’t die in hospital,” said Feras Astoun, a resident of east Jerusalem.
“As he killed so many Palestinians, so must he be killed. He should die violently. It is the unfortunate truth but most people feel this way.”…
“Sharon is to blame for a lot of Palestinian misery,” said Rajaee Militants, such as Hamas, have greeted Mr Sharon’s health problems with glee.
“The Middle East is a much more comfortable place without Sharon,” said Hamas spokesman in Gaza Sami Abu Zuhri. “He never added anything positive to the region.”