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.
— Al-Haq الحق (@alhaq_org) December 27, 2018
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.”
December 12, 2018: Saleh Omar Saleh Barghouthi, 29, was extrajudicially assassinated by Israeli soldiers near Surda village, a West Bank city of Ramallah; they claimed he was allegedly “involved” in a shooting targeting colonialist settlers, last Sunday. https://t.co/hXEPAdpU7g pic.twitter.com/8UOhLVphQw
— If Americans Knew (@ifamericansknew) December 13, 2018
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.
Reports that #IDF units shot and arrested Saleh Omar Barghouthi on the main street between the town of Sarda and the city of Ramallah tonight. It is believed he was involved in the Ofer shooting. #Israel pic.twitter.com/wC7E2q6Faj
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) December 12, 2018
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)