Border policeman has no regrets

Father says he doesn't hate the person who nearly cost his son an eye.

alon madar 298.88 (photo credit: Madar family)
alon madar 298.88
(photo credit: Madar family)
Despite almost losing the sight in his left eye during the violence at the outpost of Amona last week, 19-year-old border policeman Alon Madar has no complaints about having taken part in the operation. "If this hadn't happened to me it would have happened to somebody else. There is no regret that I went out there," said Madar, who is in the second year of his compulsory national service. He was speaking from his bed in Jerusalem's Hadassah-University Hospital at Ein Kerem, on the same floor as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Madar's father Yair was restrained when talking about the protesters who carried out the violence, and said he still respects the settlers despite what happened. "I don't hate them. Even after something like this. Even the person who threw (the glass)," he said. "Hatred is something very strong. I don't think I am supposed to hate anybody." Alon, whose mother died over a year ago from an illness, was injured during clashes between security forces and protesters during the evacuation and demolition of nine houses in Amona, which is located near Jerusalem in Samaria. He was hit by glass that was thrown from the roof of one of the houses, not a concrete block as was orginally thought. He was airlifted to the hospital in serious condition, where he needed three hours of surgery to save his sight. He also needed 16 stitches that have left a scar that runs just below his eye. "I was between the second and third house treating the wounded. From what I was told, part of a window was thrown from the roof and hit me in the eye," he said. "I cannot see like I was able to see beforehand... but according to the tests the doctors have done and after the eye surgery I had, I should be OK," he added. "Thank goodness (I feel) better. At the moment, I don't have any pain in the eye. The nerve in my face was damaged but that should improve with time." Yair said he didn't know the full seriousness of his son's injuries until he saw him and his uniform. "I entered the emergency room and saw him. All of his uniform was drenched with blood," he said. "It simply causes you to go into shock. It's unbelievable." "You just saw a policeman who looked as if he had returned from a battle with an enemy from across the border. The picture didn't match what was supposed to have happened during the evacuation of the settlers," his father added. "I knew he was going to take part in the evacuation, but the truth is I wasn't so worried, because I didn't expect that his life would be in danger from Jews," he said. Judea and Samaria Police Cmdr. Yisrael Yitzhak, who visited Madar, said he was happy that the policeman didn't suffer irreversible damage. "We trust that he will overcome the situation and we hope he will quickly return to service. Sometimes you need a miracle, and a miracle happened to Alon." Because he is in the police, Madar is not allowed to express his political views, but Yair said that before the event, the two shared a similar outlook. "He (Alon) thinks, like me... that the settlers have rights. It's impossible to deprive them of their rights. That's clear to everybody," he said. "But the moment the government thinks it's better to evacuate a place, the law says the settlers need to leave for the benefit of everybody," he added. "I think they need to return to acceptable norms. They need to sit at the table and to sort out all their problems through organized negotiations with people they can get on with and can provide them with solutions to their concerns." Madar is one of two policemen still in the hospital, the other is cavalry officer Peretz Margalit, who was moderately injured in the leg. Over 80 policemen were injured and 39 were taken to hospital, but were discharged very quickly. More than 250 people were injured in total.