Ahmed Erakat
Ahmed Erakat Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Israel’s fatal shooting of Ahmed Erakat, a relative of prominent Palestinian politician Saeb Erakat, has outraged Palestinians, who accused the Israelis of killing the young man in cold blood.

Israeli police claimed to have shot dead the 26-year-old man this week after he had allegedly attempted to hit Israeli soldiers with his car at a military checkpoint in the town of Abu Dees in eastern Jerusalem.

Erakat’s family denied the Israeli allegation and said Ahmed was on his way to pick up his family to attend the wedding party of his sister Eman that was due on Tuesday. “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,” Noura Erekat, a cousin of Ahmed and a rights lawyer, tweeted.

Saeb Erakat, the secretary of the PLO’s executive committee, condemned Ahmed’s killing and held Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accountable.

“Ahmed Erakat (26) was murdered in cold blood at the Wadi Al Nar road block, by Israeli occupying forces. They continue their lies and claim he tried to run over the soldiers. Netanyahu is responsible,” the Palestinian politician said on Twitter.

“Naming the victim a terrorist reflects criminal, hearts and hands,” he added, calling Ahmed his cousin.

The veteran politician also published a copy of Eman’s wedding invitation.

Erakat said that Ahmed’s car was going at about five kilometres per hour at the time of the shooting, adding that such a speed was not suitable for an attack.

“Ahmed Erakat’s body is being jailed by Netanyahu. They killed an innocent young man. Their values allow them to keep parents, sisters and loved ones in pain. Once again, I appeal to the international community to release Ahmed’s body and those of 63 Palestinian bodies,” Erakat tweeted Friday.

Ahmed, a resident of Abu Dees, worked in publicity and car decoration. He had originally planned to marry last month, but the event was postponed until July due to an outbreak of the new coronavirus.

A video filmed by a Palestinian at the site of the shooting showed Ahmed lying on the ground bleeding without medical assistance.

The incident triggered clashes between Abu Dees’ residents and the Israeli occupying forces. Protesters torched car tyres and garbage containers. The town also declared Thursday and Friday days of mourning over Ahmed’s killing.

The PLO, meanwhile, denounced Ahmed’s killing, describing it as a crime of execution.

“The execution of martyr Erakat and leaving him to bleed until death as well as barring the Red Crescent teams from offering him medical aid, besides withholding his body, is a chilling and complete crime that requires the International Criminal Court to open a speedy criminal investigation against the Israeli war criminals,” it said in a statement.

“There should be an international probe into the crime of his execution and all crimes carried out by Israel on purpose and extrajudicially against our innocent and defenceless people,” PLO added.