Friday was another deadly bloody day in Palestine. Israeli forces killed four Palestinians, two in Hebron and two outside illegal Israeli settlements near Ramallah. The third to die was Abed Rahman Barghouthi, 26, killed at the entrance of the Palestinian village of Aboud, adjacent to the settlement of Halamish. Witnesses told Ma’an News Barghouthi was an American citizen who “recently arrived back from the US to get married, after getting engaged five months previously.”
Update: A relative of Barghouthi in the United States tells Allison Deger that the victim was not a citizen, though he has many American connections. “My cousin is the martyr Abd el Rahman Barghouti. His sister was married to my brother for 10 years and I’m related to him from both sides of my family. Mondoweiss is reporting him as purportedly an American citizen, but only his sister is. His mother and father both hold resident alien cards. And his other brother is in Canada.”
Barghouthi was given a military funeral which set off from the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. Thousands of Palestinian mourners attended his funeral procession in Aboud on Saturday afternoon.
Israel alleged Barghouthi was killed for stabbing a soldier. The Times of Israel reported, “The attack occurred during a security check, when the assailant exited his vehicle and stabbed the soldier in the neck.” Israeli sources say the unnamed soldier was evacuated to Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, and is suffering from moderate to serious wounds in his upper body. But residents tell an altogether different story and circumstances surrounding the event seem unusual.
Palestinian News and Information Agency WAFA, reports that witnesses say, “Israeli forces killed Abdul-Rahman in ‘cold-blood’, after being stopped at the village entrance”. According to witnesses, soldiers had exited the scene after killing Barghouthi to get military reinforcements, during which time, “Barghouthi’s body was taken from the scene by a Palestinian vehicle before soldiers attempted to follow the vehicle, while targeting it with shots.” The Jewish Press put it this way: “Arabs stole” Barghouthi’s body.
After the extrajudicial execution Israeli forces fired live bullets, stun grenades and tear gas towards young Palestinians who flocked to the location he was killed.
Palestinian News and Information Agency WAFA:
He was dropped off by a public taxi near the village entrance, where clashes were taking place between local youths and Israeli forces.
“Israeli forces killed Abdul-Rahman in ‘cold-blood’, after being stopped at the village entrance,’ said Husni al-Barghouthi, Abdel al-Rahman’s uncle, who refuted the Israeli allegations, confirming that soldiers ‘planted a knife beside his body.’
‘al-Barghothi was ordered by soldiers to show his identity card, when soldiers opened fire at him, hitting him in the neck and head with over six bullets, causing his immediate death,’ he added.
Witnesses added that the soldiers ran away to a nearby military outpost before other military reinforcements were brought to the scene.
Al-Barghouthi’s body was taken from the scene by a Palestinian vehicle before soldiers attempted to follow the vehicle, while targeting it with shots.
Al-Barghouthi’s body was then taken to a Salfit hospital before being transferred into Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.
Following the alleged stabbing attack, Israeli forces cordoned Aboud village off, closing the main entrance of Aboud village and preventing all residents from exiting or entering the village through the main street.
Reportedly, another witness claimed that a soldier grabbed the soldier who shot Barghouthi and took him behind her house, and subsequently, he became the Israeli victim. Israeli press said the soldier was “lightly injured.”
Something doesn’t add up. If Palestinians were able to evacuate Barghouthi’s body it means the soldiers had abandoned the immediate vicinity. Had a wounded soldier accompanied the Israeli soldiers to a nearby military outpost for reinforcements why didn’t ambulances pick him up at the outpost instead of Aboud, as documented? Had a wounded soldier remained at the scene he would not have been left alone, so where were they when Barghouthi’s body was evacuated?
Al Quds reported The Palestinian Health Ministry said Barghouthi arrived at Salfit Hospital, and the governor of Salfit ordered Palestinian authorities to guard the hospital “to prevent the storming of the occupation forces and the abduction of his body.”*
Here is a brief video of the funeral procession in the village of Aboud, where Barghouthi was born.
Barghouthi was engaged to be married. His fiancee said she was talking to him on the phone when suddenly disconnected. She called back minutes later and was informed he had been killed.
— Lama (@RabahLama) December 5, 2015
Clashes broke out with Israeli forces in the village of Aboud following Barghouthi’s funeral.
Since the beginning of October, Israeli forces have killed 114 Palestinians— and 19 Israelis have died in that period. The Israeli army is reportedly holding the bodies of 40 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and refusing to return them to Palestinians. Residents of Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in East Jerusalem demonstrated for the release of Palestinians’ bodies yesterday, December 4th:
And speaking of the village of Aboud: Israel dynamited the ancient 6th century Byzantine church St Barbara of Aboud on May 31, 2002, a rare relic of Christian past of the Holy Land. The Israeli military claimed that they were unaware of the church’s significance and demolished it by mistake.