Palestinian prisoners affairs minister, 2 others, die in West Bank car crash

Palestinian prisoners affairs minister, 2 others, die in West Bank car crash
The chairman of the Commission of Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has died in a car crash in the occupied West Bank along with two others.
2 min read
01 July, 2023
Abu Bakr led the government-run prisoners' commission since 2018 [Getty/archive]

Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Minister Qadri Abu Bakr died in a car crash on Saturday, local authorities confirmed.

The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, which Abu Bakr had also been the chairman of since 2018, said in a statement that the minister died at the age of 70 "following an unfortunate traffic accident near Jamma'in, south of Nablus, while he was returning from a party for prisoners’ children."

A spokesman for the Palestinian police confirmed the death of Abu Bakr and two other Palestinians, with more injuries reported.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mourned Minister Qadri Abu Bakr, "the great national fighter."

"The fighter Abu Bakr spent his life as a solid fighter defending Palestine, its cause, its people, and its independent national decision," said Abbas, praising his "honourable national and struggle role, and his work in the institutions of the Palestinian state."

The Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) also mourned the late minister.

"We bid farewell today to a fighter and patriotic stature, who spent his life defending the causes and rights of his people, especially the issue of prisoners, until the last moment of his life," the group said.

Abu Bakr was born in January 1953 and hailed from the town of Biddya in the northern occupied West Bank. He held a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Beirut Arab University in Lebanon.

According to the PPC, the official joined the Fatah movement at an early stage in his life in the late 1960s. He spent around 17 years of his life in total in Israeli detention, and returned to Palestine in 1996 after being exiled for his activism and role in the resistance against Israeli occupation.