JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian Authority blamed Israel for the death of Palestinian terrorist held in an Israeli jail for a shooting attack on a West Bank road which killed a Jewish couple in front of their four children.
Bassam al-Sayeh, 47, who had cancer, died on Sunday in an Israeli hospital.
He planned and funded the October 2015 shooting attack near Itamar in the northern West Bank, which left Rabbi Eitam Henkin, an American citizen, and his wife Naama dead. Four of their six young children were in the car with them at the time of the attack. Sayeh, who was affiliated with the terrorist group Hamas, was arrested and jailed days after the attack.
“Palestine is mourning the martyr Bassam AlSaeh, who died in an Israeli prison. We hold the Israeli government fully responsible and call upon the International Criminal Court to begin an immediate investigation. Israeli officials must be held accountable,” Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization and chief peace negotiator with Israel, said in a tweet, one of several PA officials to take to social media to blame Israel for the death.
Sayeh has had cancer since 2011 and also was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013, according to the WAFA Palestinian news agency.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Authorities’ Prisoners’ Commission, Hasan Abed Rabbo, told WAFA that other Palestinian prisoners refused to accept their meals on Monday morning and that they would observe three days of mourning for Sayeh.
The commission reportedly will demand that Israel release Sayeh’s body for burial in his hometown of Nablus in the northern West Bank.
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