Al-Haq Sends Urgent Appeal to UN on Disappearance of Palestinian

Saleh Omar Barghouthi, 29, has been subject to an enforced disappearance following his detention by Israeli forces. (Photo: via Social Media)

Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq sent a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures regarding the enforced disappearance of Palestinian citizen Saleh Omar Barghouthi, 29, following his detention by Israeli forces near the town of Surda, north of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, on December 12, 2018.

According to Al-Haq’s documentation, between 6:40 pm and 7:00 pm on the evening of Wednesday, December 12, a blue SsangYong jeep, with a Palestinian license plate, hit a yellow taxi that was in front of it near Surda, on the road leading to Birzeit.

One witness told Al-Haq that about ten masked Israeli soldiers wearing black uniforms came out of a white Mercedes bus, which had a Palestinian license plate, pointed their rifles at Palestinians approaching the scene, and shouted at them to get back in their cars.

Several hours after the disappearance of Saleh Barghouthi, on December 12, Israeli media reported that “the Counter Terrorism Unit of the [Israeli] Border Police, Yamam, killed a Palestinian suspected of involvement in the shooting attack outside of Ofra on Sunday.”

In a statement issued on December 15, 2018, Saleh’s family called into question the facts of the alleged killing.

Saleh’s father, Omar Barghouthi, was informed by an Israeli intelligence officer of his son’s death admitting, “we killed Saleh.”

Al-Haq notes that on December 20, the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) received further information on the case of Saleh Barghouthi. In their response to JLAC, the Israeli authorities admitted that Saleh was alive at the time he was arrested and alleged that Saleh was then taken to a hospital, where he is said to have died of his wounds, a few hours later.

However, no response was given to JLAC’s request to allow Saleh’s mother to identify the body and to see him inside his place of detention, nor did the Israeli authorities provide any information related to Saleh’s arrest or injury.

In its submission to the UN Special Procedures, Al-Haq stressed that Saleh Barghouthi has been subjected to an enforced disappearance and calls on the Israeli occupying authorities to disclose the circumstances in which Saleh Barghouthi was arrested, detained, and injured, to ensure Saleh’s family is adequately informed of his fate and whereabouts, and that Saleh’s body is returned to his family for a dignified burial, without further undue delay.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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