Palestinians mourn father-of-five, Turkey quake volunteer killed in Israeli violence

Palestinians mourn father-of-five, Turkey quake volunteer killed in Israeli violence
A Palestinian father of five was shot and killed in Israeli violence after his return from Turkey, where he was volunteering to help quake victims.
2 min read
27 February, 2023
Aqtash was shot in his abdomen near his home in Zaatara Village [Getty]

Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets on Monday to mourn the death of a man shot dead the night before in Israeli violence in the West Bank after he returned from a volunteering trip to help Turkey quake victims, according to reports.

Mourners paid tribute to Sameh Hamdallah Mahmoud Aqtash, 37, in the town of Beita, located in Nablus province, as he was buried on Monday morning, The New Arab's Arabic language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Israeli settlers attacked at least 30 homes in a rampage in Nablus, where over 100 cars were torched, according to Wajeh Odeh, a member of the town of Hawara's municipality, and over 350 Palestinians were injured in the attack, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

Aqtash's brother Abdel Moneim Aqtash said he and his brother were standing outside a blacksmith's workshop when they were attacked by Israeli settlers.

"They left the area and then came back with the occupation (Israeli) army... The army shot my brother, not the settlers," he told AFP.

The military told AFP that Aqtash "was not shot by an Israeli soldier".

The father of five died from his injuries before reaching the hospital and was buried early on Monday.

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Aqtash and his family suffered from Israeli restrictions placed on them, as they received notices for the demolition of their homes and agricultural facilities, preventing them from expansion, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

On Monday morning, the Israeli military told AFP no one had been arrested over the killing of Aqtash.

The office of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of "protecting terrorist acts perpetrated by settlers" in the West Bank.

The West Bank is home to about 2.9 million Palestinians as well as an estimated 475,000 Jewish settlers, who live in state-approved settlements considered illegal under international law.

Israeli violence against Palestinians has claimed at least 63 lives since the start of 2023 and 11 Israeli civilians have been killed in the same period, according to AFP.