A Palestinian activist who had struggled against Israeli occupation has been killed in a two hour shootout between himself and Israeli forces, according to Ma’an News Agency. Basel al-Araj was detained without reason for five months, participated in hunger strikes in protest of torture in prison, and had been in hiding before he finally met his end.
Though the Israeli government had made the unfoudned claim that Araj was the leader of a terrorist cell, Palestinians say he was an intellectual; one of many activists, but more of a bookworm than a violent security threat.
People have emerged on social media to show solidarity with their fallen hero:
In this heartbreaking tweet, a user posts a picture of Al-Araj’s mother holding a photograph of him:
Also today, another Palestinian mother is mourning her son killed by Israeli occupation forces— stefania_Palestine (@stefaniafoddis1) March 6, 2017
RIP Basel Al Araj pic.twitter.com/giKCrXAPil
According to this tweet, Palestinians went to Basel’s home in Ramallah after his death. There was a march scheduled in his memory:
Here’s footage of a different march, reportedly from the Deheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem:
March started from the Deheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem to protest the killing of the martyr Basel Al_araj— Ali Hussein (@Alihussein_2) March 6, 2017
Some people couldn’t find words to express their sadness:
all day I've been struggling to write about you, Basel. maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow I'll digest you Martyrdom & your legacy.#باسل_الاعرج— razan anabtawi (@razan93) March 6, 2017
Lastly, this poignent Arabic tweet sums up the tragedy of the event:
It is from the ugliness of this world that the intellectual freedom fighter departs, while the ignorant mercenary remains.
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