The Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) of the Palestine Liberation Organization called upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into what it said was Israeli extrajudicial killing of Ahmad Erekat.
“In the strongest terms, we condemn the heinous crime committed by the Israeli occupying forces against Ahmad Mustafa Erekat (28 years old) from Jerusalem, who was executed in cold blood and mercilessly left to bleed to death. His execution, the prevention of the Red Crescent paramedics from approaching him to provide medical aid, and the withholding of his body, are all horrific crimes. The International Criminal Court (ICC) must expedite the opening of a criminal investigation into Israeli war crimes,” NAD said in a statement.
Erekat, from Abu Dis town east of Jerusalem and related to the PLO’s secretary general Saeb Erekat, was shot dead at an Israeli army checkpoint near Bethlehem on Tuesday when he was on his way to get his mother and sisters from a beauty salon for his sister’s wedding.
“This horrific crime is at the core of Israel’s violent escalation against the people of Palestine as it prepares for the further annexation of Palestinian lands in the framework of the ‘Greater Israel’ colonial project. It’s part of its series of crimes and systematic process of ethnic cleansing, led by the current extremist Israeli coalition, aiming to eliminate the Palestinian national presence,” said NAD in the statement.
“Ahmad’s execution comes on the eve of the US administration meeting to take the final unilateral decision to allow for Israel’s further annexation of lands belonging to the State of Palestine. It also comes on the eve of the UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including Israel’s illegal annexation plans,” it said.
“Israel, the occupying power, continues to act with a culture of impunity that will keep triggering such crimes. It is immoral to continue allowing the denial of the Palestinian people of their rights. We deserve nothing less than justice and freedom. Henceforth, we call upon the ICC to open an investigation into all of Israel’s extrajudicial killings of Palestinians, including the recent executions of Ahmad Erekat and Eyad al-Hallaq. It is long overdue for the international community to take concrete action towards holding Israeli war criminals accountable for their systematic crimes,” it concluded with reference to Hallaq, an autistic Palestinian who was also shot and killed in cold blood by Israeli police in Jerusalem last month.