Naji al-Ali Murder Investigation Reopened

Published August 29th, 2017 - 01:30 GMT
Defiance. (Work by Naji al-Ali)
Defiance. (Work by Naji al-Ali)

The Metropolitan Police have announced that they are re-opening their investigation into the murder of iconic Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali.

On July 22, 1987, al-Ali was walking towards the Al-Qabas offices in Knightsbridge, London, when a man walked up behind him and shot in the back of the neck. Al-Ali passed away after a five week stay in a coma on August 29, 1987—exactly 30 years ago. A detailed overview of the case can be found here.

Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism Command is marking the 30th anniversary of the murder by posting an appeal for information.

The artist was defiantly political and often controversial, sparing neither Israel nor Arab leadership from what he saw as injustice towards Palestine, Palestinians, and the Palestinian cause.

"The brutal murder of Mr Al-Ali devastated his family and 30 years on they continue to feel the loss," CTC commander Dean Haydon said.

Above: A composite sketch of the suspect.

"A lot can change in 30 years: allegiances shift and people who were not willing to speak at the time of the murder may now be prepared to come forward with crucial information."

Witnesses described the killer as about 25, seemingly Middle Eastern with thick, wavy black hair. A black automatic handgun, a 7.62 Tokarev pistol, wasin London in 1989. It was linked to al-Ali's murder through ballistics.

Above: The murder weapon.

Al-Ali's most enduring work was Handala—Arabic for "bitterness"—a Palestinian refugee child who stares away from the page, his hands behind his back. The image is an iconic one, and irrevocably linked with Palestine and Palestinian resistance.

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