Two Palestinians run over in Israeli settler "revenge" attack
Ramallah Zahi Subhi Awwad Abu Hamed, a Palestinian father of five, never imagined he would be a hatred target for the Israeli colonists who are killing, destroying and crushing Palestinians indiscrimnately in their attempts to ‘avenge’ the death of three colonists whom Israeli occupation forces blame on Hamas operatives in the West Bank.
Zahi, his older brother Zuhair and their driver, an Arab Israeli citizen from Yafa, Anwar Al Astal, parked their car at the side of Shefa Amr’s main street to repair a mechanical fault in the vehicle’s engine. The trio specialized in buying used furniture and machines and their vehicle was known to the residents of Shefa Amr and the nearby cities of Haifa, Acre, Nazareth and Galilee. The brothers have bought goods in these areas for at least 20 years.
A speeding Israeli truck deliberately crossed the parking line and ran over the Palestinian traders. Two of the three men were declared dead at the scene, while the third escaped with moderate injuries.
The men killed at the scene - Zahi Abu Hamed, 44, and Anwar Al Astal, 53 – were transferred to Talashomore Hospital to be later returned to their families for their funerals.
The family of Zahi Abu Hamed from the city of Qalqilia in the West Bank said that several eye witnesses have testified that the incident was not a road accident and claimed that Israeli police had reached the same conclusion.“It was a premeditated murder by the driver who Israeli police identified as a Jew of Russian origin who lives in an Israeli colony in Occupied Jerusalem,” said Zeyad, Zahi’s brother. “The colonist saw that they were Palestinians fixing their vehicle on the sideway and so he ran them over in plain sight of bystanders,” he told Gulf News. “It is a premeditated murder for which we hold the driver and the Israeli government accountable.”
“We want to see justice served against this Israeli colonist murderer who killed my brother for no other reason than because he was a Palestinian,” he argued. “We plan to launch a court case to sue this man,” he stressed.
The colonist driver, who is known to the Israeli police for his hatred for Arabs and Palestinians, fled the scene but was later arrested by Israeli police.
Human rights organizations from Occupied Jerusalem and Ramallah have already contacted the family to get official authorization to sue the colonist and the state of Israel for the murder of Zahi, and the family has given the green light for jurisdictional measures to be started.
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) representative in Qalqilia, Governor Rafe’i Rawajbah, visited the family and officially named Zahi a Palestinian martyr.
The victim’s body will be handed to his family for burial and will be laid to rest today. The murder of the two Palestinians is expected to inflame the situation in the West Bank and the 1948 areas.
By Nasouh Nazza