Israel continues to withhold body of slain Palestinian leader Daoud Zubeidi

Israel continues to withhold body of slain Palestinian leader Daoud Zubeidi
Israeli forces have killed 54 Palestinians since the beginning of 2022, including Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
4 min read
West Bank
17 May, 2022
Palestinian gunmen marched the streets of Jenin with a symbolic coffin of Daoud Zubeidi following news of his death on Sunday [Getty]

Israel still retains the body of Palestinian leader Daoud Zubeidi, dead on Sunday of wounds caused by Israeli forces in a military raid in the Jenin refugee camp, north of the West Bank days earlier, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said on Monday.

“The continuous withholding by the Israeli occupation of the body of Daoud Zubeidi, the 228th Palestinian to die in prison since 1967, raises the number of dead prisoners whose bodies continue to be withheld to nine, the oldest being withheld since 1980”, the club said in a statement.

“This is only the number of withheld bodies of Palestinians who have died in Israeli prisons”, Ayah Shreiteh, the spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club told The New Arab. “It is to be added to the more than 250 withheld bodies of killed Palestinians in general”, she added.

“Israeli forces informed the family that he was under arrest after he had been transferred from the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin city to the Israeli Rambam hospital”, said Abu Rmeileh.

“Then when Israeli extremist member of the Knesset Itamar Ben Gvir stormed the hospital and incited against Daoud, the family and the people of Jenin camp expected that he was going to die”, he added.

Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir stormed the Rambam hospital with a group of his supporters. Ben Gvir published a post on his Facebook account calling for the execution of Zubeidi.

“Only in Israel does a terrorist shoot at soldiers and then treat him and save his life. We’ve become a joke in the Middle East. Someone who tries to kill Israelis shouldn’t be treated in the hospital, they should be sentenced to death and sent to the electric chair”, wrote Ben Gvir.

Zubeidi, dead at the age of 43 was a member of Fatah’s regional leadership in the Jenin refugee camp and member of the Fatah-associated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, one of the main Palestinian militant groups who fought Israeli forces during the second Intifada in the early 2000s.

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He was the brother of Zakariyah Zubeidi, former leader of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin, co-founder of the Jenin Freedom Theater and one of the six escapees from the Israeli high-security Gilboa prison, last September.

Daoud Zubeidi’s mother, Samira, and brother, Taha, were killed by Israeli forces during the Jenin battle in 2002. The family’s house was also demolished by Israeli forces twice.

He served a total of 12 years in Israeli jails on separate periods, including administrative detention, and had been accused by Israel of planning and carrying out attacks against Israeli targets.

Israeli forces raided Jenin camp on Friday, clashing with Palestinian gunmen. During the raid, Zubeidi was fatally wounded in the stomach. An Israeli special forces officer was also killed in the clashes.

Zubeidi’s death came only days after the killing of Palestinian-American journalist and Aljazeera reporter, Shireen Abu Akleh, by Israeli forces while covering an earlier Israeli military raid to the camp on Wednesday. General strike was observed in Jenin on Monday in mourning of Daoud Zubeidi.

Zubeidi is the third Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces since last week in the West Bank, including Abu Akleh and 16-year-old Thaer Yazouri. A fourth Palestinian, 23-year-old Waleed Al-Sharif, died on Saturday of his wounds, caused by Israeli police at Al-Aqsa compound weeks earlier. 

They are added to the 50 Palestinians killed in the West Bank by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2022, according to figures released last week by the Palestinian health ministry, raising the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the year to 54.