Palestinian activist Basil Al-Araj
Palestinian activist Basil Al-Araj was killed by Israeli occupation forces during a shootout on Monday, after soldiers raided his home in Ramallah, according to Palestinian and Israeli media reports.
The 31-year-old, who was born in Bethlehem and was known for his blogging about the struggle against the Israeli occupation, had been wanted for a year by Israeli forces.
An Israeli police spokeswoman claimed the Al-Araj was head of a squad that had planned to launch “attacks on Israeli targets,” Reuters reported.
Palestinian health ministry officials say that Israeli forces have retained the body, according to Reuters.
No Israeli troops were injured during the operation, Tel Aviv statements said.
Three other Palestinians were injured in the shootout, which lasted for two hours, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Empty bullet casings lie on the floor in the house of Basil al-Araj in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, March 6, 2017 (Reuters)
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Palestinian socialist organisation established in 1967, released a statement mourning Al-Araj’s death.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network saluted Al-Araj, saying in a statement on Monday that he “struggled all his life for Palestine and its people, [and was] committed to a radical vision of justice and liberation.”
“We demand real justice for Basil Al-Araj, the prosecution and accountability of all those responsible for his execution, and the immediate release of his body, as well as his imprisoned comrades and all 7,000 Palestinian prisoners of freedom in the jails of the occupation,” the statement read.
Since October 2015, Israeli occupation forces have killed at least 252 Palestinians.
Attacks by unarmed Palestinians have killed 41 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese national. The rate of attacks has declined sharply in recent months.