Friday, February 26, 2021

Israeli soldiers shoot and kill nephew of senior PLO official at checkpoint

By The Palestine Monitor - June 24, 2020
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Abu Dis] [checkpoints] [Extrajudicial Killing]

Israeli forces have shot and killed 27-year-old Ahmad Erakat, nephew of Saeb Erakat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on 23 June.

According to a police spokesperson, border police shot and killed a suspect who was attempting to run down a female officer at what is commonly known as the 'Container Checkpoint’, located in the Palestinian village of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem. An Israeli officer was lightly injured in the incident.

Saeb Erakat has immediately dismissed allegations that the deceased was shot to prevent an attempted car-ramming attack as “impossible” saying that his nephew was due to be married later in the week.

"This young man was killed in cold blood. Tonight was his sister's wedding," Saeb told AFP. "What the occupation army claims, that he was trying to run someone over, is a lie."

Ahmad was "executed" by the Israeli police, his uncle Saeb added, saying that he held Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for "this crime".

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi urged the international community to take "concrete steps" in holding Israel accountable for their “heinous crimes”.

"Palestinian lives matter," she wrote, recalling names of other Palestinians who have been murdered at the hands of “trigger happy soldiers”, including last month's police killing of an unarmed, autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem, Iyad Hallaq.

"Israel also attempted to slander Ahmad and excuse his murder. It is part of a tragically familiar pattern, where Israel habitually uses false pretexts that are all too familiar now to justify the murder of Palestinians by trigger happy soldiers," Ahrawi stated.

Sources from the family said that his sister's wedding was scheduled that day, as he was on his way to Bethlehem to transport his mother and sisters from a beauty salon in the city.

Family sources confirmed that Ahmad’s wedding was also scheduled to be held later this week.

The director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Bethlehem confirmed that a soldier prevented Palestinian medical personnel from approaching Ahmad’s body and he was left to bleed, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa.

"Ahmed Erekat, 27, beautiful young man. A son. A brother. Fiancee. My baby cousin," Noura Erakat, a human rights attorney based in the US wrote on Twitter, sharing his photos.

"Israeli cowards shot him multiple times, left him to bleed for 1.5 hours and blamed him for his death. Tonight was his sister's wedding, his was next month. We failed to protect him. I am so sorry," she wrote.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet due on 1 July to begin discussing the annexation of the West Bank, territory Israel captured in a 1967 war, and that Palestinians seek for a state.

Palestinians vehemently oppose the annexation plan, as do most world powers.

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