The struggle for the liberation of the Palestinian people has always been a central theme in Jamel’s life. From the moment that the Israel-Palestine conflict was apparent to him, he took part in the struggle because he understood that his people’s struggle was right, proven by the wide international support for a Palestinian State.
Jamel took an active part in the struggle. He hung up flags, threw stones, closed off streets, set fire to tires, and marked Fatah, PLO and The People’s Front in public places. He felt that he was doing his part for the struggle, but it was not sufficient. He felt a drive forward, an urge that pulled him to more meaningful actions.
During one activity he was shot by 3 live bullets, which left him disabled for 7 months. After a difficult recovery, he went back to throwing stones, and this time he was arrested. There was terrible violence in the prison against the inmates. He was released after 6 days with his corneas torn in both eyes. He was taken from prison directly to the hospital near the Russian Compound, where he remained for nearly 2 years. During his time in hospital, visitors came who tried convince him to return to the violent struggle.
It was at this time that Jamil began to develop the understanding that stones do not deliver results. Apart from injuries, arrests and surgery he felt that he had not achieved anything. Jamel ended his connection with resistance groups; and then came that moment when he first heard about a Combatants For Peace meeting in Anata, which he asked to join on his own initiative.
In meeting with Israelis Jamel felt that they respected him as a man fighting for his rights. They embraced him, he embraced them back.
Over time, he became the Jerusalem group coordinator. This was the beginning of his meaningful resistance to the Occupation.