Palestinians demand justice for Omar Nayef

Palestinians demand justice for Omar Nayef
Following the assassination of PFLP member, Omar Nayef, in the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria, his family and supporters say those complicit in his death must be held to account.
3 min read
29 February, 2016
Palestinians have held marches and vigils demanding justice for the PFLP member [The New Arab]
Palestinians protested in Manara Square in Ramallah to denounce the assassination of former prisoner Omar Nayef in the Palestinian embassy in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia on Friday.

Omar Nayef, affiliated with Palestinian leftist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, had been staying in the Palestinian embassy after Israel demanded that Bulgarian authorities hand him over after he had escaped from prison 26 years ago.

He was assassinated in the embassy where he had been locked in "for his own safety", leading to his family suspecting that the Palestinian Authority was complicit in his assassination.

"We don’t rule out the possibility that the assassination was carried out through security cooperation between Israeli intelligence services and Palestinian security staff at the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria," Ahmad Nayef, Omar Nayef’s brother told The New Arab.

"We expect that security from inside the embassy carried out the assassination," he added.

They added that the Palestinian ambassador to Bulgaria, Ahmad al-Madbuh, bore "full responsibility" for the killing.

The incident has led to widespread outrage across Palestine, with marches also being held across the Palestinian territories.  

The participants in the Ramallah demonstration carried photos of Omar Nayef and waved PFLP flags, and called for his murderers to be brought to justice.

Omar Nazzal, a representative for the Nayef family, said that an inquiry into his death is currently being held in Bulgaria in conjunction with Bulgarian and Palestinian authorities.

However, the commission has already rejected the request of the family that an approved Palestinian doctor be present at the autopsy.

Omar Nayef was a former prisoner and hunger striker [twitter]
The details of exactly how Nayef was killed are still unclear, though initial reports suggest that he was pushed from the second floor of the embassy and died of injuries to his upper body.

The family called for those complicit for Omar’s death to be held account, including Palestinian security services who were responsible for securing the embassy.

They also emphasized that the possible roles of the Foreign Ministry representative, Riyad al Malaki, the official in charge of the Nayef file, and the security officer at the embassy, as well as the Palestinian ambassador, and urged that the commission of inquiry examined this.

The Nayef family have also requested that his body be transferred to Palestine so he could be buried in his home city of Jenin, but have not yet received a response to this request.

Nayef was arrested in 1986 in Jerusalem and given a life sentence.  After four years in an Israeli prison he went on hunger strike.

He had refused food for forty days after which he was transferred to hospital in Bethlehem where he escaped out of the country.  

Omar would have been freed in 1993 under the Oslo accords, which stipulated the release of Palestinian political prisoners held at the time.

The former prisoner lived as a vagrant in various parts of the Arab world until 1994 when he went to Bulgaria.  

Prior to the Israeli calls to hand Nayef over, he had settled in Bulgaria, married and has three children – all with Bulgarian nationality.  He was a well-known figure in the Palestinian community in Sofia where he owned a grocery shop.