View Full Version : Teenagers Threaten Mass Suicide In Protest To Gaza Pullout

08-03-2005, 01:51 PM
Gush Katif surfer teens threaten group suicide by drowning


By Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent

Avid surfers from several Gush Katif communities are threatening to take their boards out to sea on evacuation day and commit mass suicide by drowning. Settlement secretariats, psychologists and social workers have known about the plans of these young men, aged 16-21, for several weeks.

Some members of the group have had first-hand experience of grief when close relatives or friends were killed in terrorist attacks. Others grew up in families where parents have also threatened suicide over the upcoming evacuation.

Neveh Dekalim's chief security officer, Ami Shaked, confirmed this information Tuesday. "The report is very serious. I plan to talk with the boys. These are guys who have fallen into very deep emotional distress. They have seen their parents in tough crisis situations. I believe that if I can manage to deal with the hard core of the group, which numbers 10-12 people concentrated in one of the settlements, the others will drop the matter. I will personally do everything to prevent [suicides], including shooting them in the legs," he said.

The settlement where the group's hard core is concentrated is aware of the danger. The secretary of the settlement in question told Haaretz that the community's secretariat met Tuesday to discuss the suicide threat with psychologists.

"There are a number of young men in the [Katif] bloc, among them youths living here with us, who have been seen and overheard talking about such a plan. I am under the impression that this could be serious. They come from families in which the parents are also conveying distress, and that might be having an impact," he said.

"The fact that to this day, two weeks before the evacuation, people who have lived here for nearly 30 years do not know where they'll be going from here undermines people's mental balance. If the adults are taking it hard, then adolescent boys are suffering all the more so from all this, and they might do something foolish, which we will do everything to prevent," the official said.

The Gaza Coast Regional Council director of youth activities, Amatzia Yehieli, has also heard about the group-suicide plan, but said Tuesday that he was unable to evaluate the seriousness of the boys' intentions.

"We will try to locate everyone, talk to them and make sure that no horrible idea of this sort is put into practice," Yehieli said.