By Palestine Chronicle Staff
In a predawn raid at a Ramallah house in the West Bank today, Israeli occupation forces killed the well-known Palestinian activist and youth leader Basil Al-Araj, 31, from the West Bank village of Alwalaja, after exchanging fire with him for two hours.
According to local sources, Al-Araj fought the soldiers and exchanged fire with them for two hours, before being killed.
The house of Al-Araj family had been repeatedly raided in the past by Israeli forces looking for him, but his whereabouts remained unknown to his family until he was killed today.
— Alahednews English (@AlahednewsEn) March 6, 2017
Al-Araj was one of six Palestinian youths released from Palestinian Authority prisons after nearly six months of imprisonment. They launched a hunger strike, which led to their release.
Five of Al-Araj inmates were re-arrested by Israel following their release from the PA prisoner in December 2016, but Al-Araj kept hiding and Israeli forces kept looking for him.
Al-Araj was active on many fronts, including his research in the oral history of Palestine, his involvement in the bus protests in the West Bank organized to protest Israel’s policy of segregation against Palestinians and his activism in raising awareness about the history of Palestine and its villages and the crimes of the Israeli occupation.
— Days of Palestine (@DaysofPalestine) March 6, 2017
One of his famous quotes reads, “If you want to be an intellectual, you have to be an engaged intellectual, and if you refuse to do so, it is no use to be intellectual.”
Social media outlets have stirred with rage following the announcement of the news of killing Basil Al-Araj, with Palestinians describing him as a true hero and intellectual, who paid his life to what he believes in, using his pen and gun at the same time to liberate Palestine.