But when gunfire echoes in the streets outside or news comes of a suicide bombing in a nearby Israeli city, he knows he may soon have more than enough work to keep him busy.

The grimy, dimly-lit shop is one of two in Jenin that print what are known as "martyr" posters, which eulogise Palestinians who have killed or been killed in the conflict with Israel and cover almost every wall in town.

Since the Palestinian uprising began in 2000, they have become a regular feature of life across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where they even adorn hospitals and classrooms.

Islamic rules demandthat the 
funeral is held as soon as possible

Nowhere is this unsettling art form more visible than in Jenin and its refugee quarter, a militant stronghold seething with hostility towards Israel for its crushing military assault in 2002 and numerous raids since.

"If this continues, we will run out of wall space for our martyrs," said Muhammad Abu Hammad, leader of the Jenin cell of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Palestinian President Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement.

During more than three years of violence, Jenin - with its proximity to the population centres of northern Israel - has served as a launch pad for human bombers who have killed scores of civilians in the Jewish state.

Israel sees the glorified images of gunmen plastered throughout this poor town of 40,000 as incitement to further attacks, a point some Palestinians readily acknowledge.

But officials in Jenin pin the blame on Israel's military crackdown and insist the townspeople have the right to honour their dead - even the killers - as they choose.

One-stop shop

Abu Hamza's family has owned the small, commercial print shop near Jenin's main mosque since the early 1970s.

Before the uprising, they did a brisk business with Israeli customers. Relations broke down after the violence started and Israel imposed a military blockade of the West Bank.

A typical poster features a photograph of the grimly staring deceased posing with an assault rifle superimposed against the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem or a picture of Muslims kneeling in prayer. The images are often surrounded by Koranic verses and lavish praise written in Arabic script.

Since then, Abu Hamza, 24, has printed posters commemorating the deaths of more than 100 of his neighbours, some of them friends or acquaintances. Fearing reprisals, he agreed to be interviewed only if an alias was used to hide his identity.

He offers one-stop shopping, a necessity considering the posters have to be up within hours to meet Islamic rules for quick burial. "Sometimes gunmen call me out of bed," he said.

A typical poster features a photograph of the grimly staring deceased, posing with an assault rifle superimposed against the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem or a picture of Muslims kneeling in prayer. The images are often surrounded by Quranic verses and lavish praise written in Arabic script.

Abu Hamza first scans the photo into an outdated desktop computer in his cramped outer office and lays out the format

Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades pays
for posters of its members

on the screen. He then moves to the backroom where he prints up 1000 to 2000 copies on a steel-grey machine.

He even sells the glue to stick his posters on walls and storefronts already so crowded with the faces of the dead that they often overlap.

If the dead person is a militant, his faction commissions the work. Al Aqsa is his biggest repeat customer. It picks the photo. The family has no say. When a non-combatant is killed, a coalition of local Islamic charities pays for the print run.

It is a quick cut-and-paste business, but not very lucrative since Abu Hamza does it all at cost - up to several hundred dollars per job.

"I won't profit from my dead brothers," he said.

No distinction

Like many Palestinians, Abu Hamza sees human bomb attacks not as terrorism - as does Israel and much of the international community - but as resistance to the occupation of Arab land.

In his work, he draws no distinction between human bombers who target Israeli civilians, gunmen killed fighting Israeli soldiers and unarmed bystanders shot dead during tank raids.

In his work, he draws no distinction between human bombers who target Israeli civilians, gunmen killed fighting Israeli soldiers and unarmed bystanders shot dead during tank raids.

"Each one is a sacred 'shahid'," Abu Hamza said, using the Arabic word for martyr, defined by Islam as one who dies during "jihad", or holy war, a guarantee of instant entry to paradise.

Hanging on a wall above his printing press is a poster of a former schoolmate who blew himself up in 2001 in a bomb-laden car he and an accomplice tried to crash into a bus.

With ink-stained hands, Abu Hamza waved away the question of whether he felt any sympathy for the 60 people wounded. But he said: "I cried for my friend while I made his poster."

Once a poster goes up, no Palestinian will dare take it down because of fear of how the militants might respond.

Israeli troops raiding the town have left their mark, sometimes daubing Stars of David across pictures of dead gunmen. Wind and rain have also taken a toll.

Mindful of how Israelis regard his work, Abu Hamza, recently married and thinking of having children, keeps his guard up.

Three months ago, soldiers ransacked his shop searching for information on the militant groups he does business with.

They found nothing. "I keep the plates and proofs hidden but within easy reach. You never know when I might need them."