Security officers threaten to kill father of Tel Aviv attacker – Middle East Monitor
Despite – or because of – Israeli threats to assassinate him, the father of the Palestinian who killed three Israelis in Tel Aviv last week has become an icon of the Palestinian struggle for freedom.
Fathi Hazem is a retired colonel in the Palestinian Authority National Security Forces and faces threats from the Israeli military and security services, including the Shin Bet. His son Ra’ad was killed after the attack.
The extent of his support among Palestinians was demonstrated from Sunday evening to Monday morning when the city of Jenin and the refugee camp went on high alert to protect the former security official. It was as if he had just come out of the fighting in the Jenin camp in 2002.
According to Fatah official Jamal Haweel, Israel wants “Abu Ra’ad” but the city and the refugee camp will not let that happen until the former colonel is willing to surrender. The threats against Hazem began after he addressed a crowd that had gathered outside his home in Jenin to pay tribute to his son’s death.
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Colonel Fathi Hazem addressed the hundreds of young men in the small square outside his home and congratulated his son for his heroic actions which inspired the people of occupied Palestine. He placed his son’s act of resistance in a much larger context than the narrative presented by Israel.
For the past four days, Shin Bet domestic security agents have called on him to surrender and threatened him with assassination if he did not. “I will not surrender until I have my son’s body to bury,” Abu Ra’ad replied.
Tel Aviv authorities are troubled by his clear and unambiguous stance on armed resistance as a tool to resist Israel’s brutal military occupation. So much so that the Israeli media reported that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office approached the US administration to ask President Mahmoud Abbas to suspend Fathi Hazem’s pension due to him as a retired employee of the Palestinian Authority. The Israelis also demanded that the Palestinian Authority not pay the allowances allocated to the families of the martyrs.
Two days ago, Israeli armed forces broke into the Jenin refugee camp and attacked the Hazem family home. This was followed by two hours of violent clashes with local residents in which local resident Ahmed Al-Saadi was killed. Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli army attempted to kill Ra’ad Hazem’s two brothers near the family home in the village of Deir Ghazaleh. However, the brothers escaped unscathed.
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