Friday, August 24, 2007
From Khalid Amayreh in the occupied West Bank
"Hamas on Thursday accused the Palestinian Authority of failure to establish justice with regard to the murder last month of Muhammed Raddad, a college student at al-Najah University in Nablus . Raddad reportedly was shot and seriously wounded by a Palestinian security operative inside college campus on 24 July, 2007. The 20-year-old student succumbed to his wounds at a Nablus hospital three days later.
“The identity of the murderer is known to them, he is known to everyone, he shot the martyr (Raddad) at a very close range in full view of people, and now they are trying to dilute the issue and create confusion in order to help the murderer escape with impunity,” said a Hamas spokesman in the City of Nablus. The spokesman disclosed the name of the suspect, saying that several people have given solemn affidavits stating that they saw the murderer pull his pistol and shoot the victim from a close range.”
Earlier this month, the independent Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian territories, al-Mizan , published the results of an investigation into the incident, blaming PA security “gunmen” for the murder. “Four gunmen pulled (Muhammed) Raddad, dragged him to the ground, beat him with the butts of their firearms, and kicked him. And then one gunman pulled his pistol and shot Raddad in back of his head from a close range.” Immediately after the shooting, all the security operatives left the campus abruptly as paramedics arrived on the scene to take Raddad to hospital where he died on 27 July.
Al-Mizan official, Samir Zakkut, stressed in an interview with this reporter that the killer “was not masked, and everyone present at that spot saw him carry out the act of killing.” “He shot him at a very close range, I am speaking of two or three meters at the very most.”
On Tuesday, the Najah University administration dismissed eight university students affiliated with the Islamic bloc. Some of the students are believed to have eye-witnessed the incident, sources in Nablus said.
Raddad’s mother, Um Muhammed, told this reporter on Thursday, 23 August, that she didn’t have much confidence in the PA judicial system to uphold the rule of law and establish justice with regard to her murdered son. “I have the impression that they are trying to cover up for the killer, perhaps create confusion for the purpose of diluting the case. “You know the conditions in the country,” said the woman, referring to the state of lawlessness prevailing in much of the occupied Palestinian territories......
The Hamas spokesman in Nablus, who wouldn’t give his name, probably because he fears arrest or abduction, by Fatah militiamen or PA security agencies, claimed that there was a “complete coordination between the University administration and Fatah and the security agencies against Islamic-oriented students, especially those affiliated with Hamas.”
PA security forces have arrested hundreds of pro-Hamas activists throughout the West Bank, ostensibly as revenge for the mid-June takeover by Hamas of the Gaza Strip......
The al-Mizan report blamed the “entry of the gunmen” for creating a tense atmosphere on campus. The report also recommended that the administrations of all Palestinian colleges to bar students and armed elements from entering campus."