PA opens fire on funeral of Fatah leader beaten to death by Palestinian security officers
Thousands attend funeral of man beaten to death by Palestinian police
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 28 Aug — Thousands of Palestinians in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday afternoon took part in a funeral for Ahmad Izz Halaweh, who was beaten to death in detention earlier this week by Palestinian security officers. The funeral set off from the Rafidiya governmental hospital and headed to the eastern cemetery of Nablus amid maximum security procedures by Palestinian security forces. Mourners in the funeral called for Nablus district Governor Akram Rujoub to resign from office and for those responsible for Halaweh’s brutal killing to be held accountable. Mourners waves flags for the Fatah and Hamas movements and raised photos of Halaweh — who was a senior member of the Fatah’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. A Palestinian security official told Ma‘an that the Palestinian Authority (PA) did not obstruct the funeral, but imposed three conditions: not to hold the march in the Old City of Nablus, to allow security forces to maintain their presence in the Old City, and to refrain from gunfire during the funeral. Halaweh’s death sparked widespread outrage among Palestinians, with the UN coming forward to denounce the killing as an “apparent extrajudicial execution.” He was the main suspect in a shooting by several gunmen last week which left two Palestinian policemen dead. Two other suspects were shot dead during raids in the ensuing manhunt, while several others were detained. Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah announced that a special committee would be formed to look into Halaweh’s death and publicly share the results of the investigation. Hamdallah has meanwhile asserted the widespread security crackdown by security forces that had targeted Halaweh would continue, for which 30 other fugitives remained at large, and vowed to resign from office if the PA failed to arrest all wanted and armed Palestinians.
PA security officers open fire at funeral of Fatah leader beaten to death in prison
MEMO 29 Aug — Palestinian Authority security officers opened fire and shot tear gas canisters at the funeral of the leader of Fatah’s military wing, Al-Resalah reported on Sunday. Colonel Ahmed Halawah of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades was buried in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. A lawyer for the colonel’s family, Mohamed Halawah, told the newspaper that the participation of tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens in the funeral “provoked” the PA security services into opening fire. “The funeral was going according to plan,” he explained, “but the PA attacked it. This is not an attack on the Halawah family, but an attack on all the Palestinians who rejected the PA aggression on the Palestinian citizens in Nablus.” The lawyer accused the PA security services and the PA-appointed governor of Nablus of being “illegitimate” if this is the way that they deal with people in the city. According to Al-Resalah, some of the participants in the funeral procession were wounded by the gunfire. It added that thousands of those who took part called for Governor Akram Al-Rajoub, as well as the PA Prime Minister Rami Hamadallah, to be ousted. They accuse the two PA officials of executing Colonel Halawah.
The PA’s extension of Israeli colonial violence / Ramona Wadi
MEMO 25 Aug — The echelons of the power structure derived from the coloniser manifested itself in the brutal extrajudicial killing of Ahmed Halawa, who was beaten to death by PA security forces. A photo which circulating on social media showing Halawa’s bruised and swollen body has ignited much furore, however it was not enough to instigate a proper process against the perpetrators. Halawa, who was a leader affiliated to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, was arrested by PA security officers on Tuesday before dawn and taken to the Juneid security compound for questioning in relation to the clashes between Palestinians and security forces during house raids. Instead of questioning, the PA security forces embarked on an exhibition of macabre sensationalism, emulating Israel’s colonial violence to perfection. Since last October, the PA fluctuated between deploring extrajudicial killings and affirming continuation of security coordination with Israel. The latter’s extent was revealed in relation to Halawa’s murder. In the past month, testimonies relating to the PA security forces’ torture of Palestinian prisoners reverberated in the media. Halawa’s case should provoke a complete rethinking of the PA’s collaboration with Israel….
19-year-old Palestinian laid to rest after Israeli authorities withheld body for 10 months
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — After holding his body in a morgue for more than ten months, Israeli forces returned slain Thaer Abu Ghazaleh, 19, to his family in occupied East Jerusalem after midnight Monday. Abu Ghazaleh was shot and killed by Israeli forces in early October after he carried out a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv which left four Israelis injured. The teenager’s mother expressed her grief to Ma‘an, saying that the family would have celebrated her son’s 20th birthday last Saturday, but that his body remained in a morgue under Israeli custody instead. Abu Ghazaleh was buried in occupied East Jerusalem’s al-Mujahidin cemetery outside the walls of the Old City. His mother insisted on laying flowers at his grave after he was buried, saying that she placed 19 flowers at his grave and kept the 20th flower “to be with me all my life for remembrance.” She added that the family received Abu Ghazaleh’s body at the cemetery’s gate, as large numbers of Israeli troops and police officers deployed around the cemetery.
“We shrouded him, performed the funeral prayer, then I carried him in my very hands and bid him a final farewell before we laid him to rest,” his mother said …
Israeli forces closed all roads surrounding the cemetery — which is located almost directly across the street from the Old City’s Herod’s Gate — for more than two hours in order to clear pedestrians and passersby from forming a crowd in anticipation of Abu Ghazaleh’s body being delivered. Forces also held the family for two hours at the entrance to Herod’s Gate, and prevented them from exiting the walls of the Old City until the body was delivered to the cemetery, at which time they were allowed to cross the empty and heavily guarded streets to attend the funeral, according to the director of the Jerusalem office of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Nasser Qaws. Lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud of prisoners’ rights group Addameer said Israeli intelligence forces returned the body after midnight on the condition that only 25 family members attend the funeral. He added that the family was also forced to pay a fee of of 20,000 shekels (approximately $5,290) as an “insurance fee” to make sure the family abided by the rules imposed on them … In addition to journalists not being allowed to go to the family’s house in the Old City after the burial, Israeli forces did not allow the family to set up a tent outside the house, as is customary practice in order to receive people who come to offer condolences for three days following the burial.