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‘Compassionate’ father killed by Israeli settlers

Israeli settlers attacked Sameh Aktash's village just two days after he arrived home from volunteering with earthquake victims in Turkiye. Saleh was shot and killed as settlers attacked the villages of Huwara and Zaatara in the occupied West Bank, while the Israeli police stood by.

February 28, 2023 at 2:49 pm

Sameh Aktash, a Palestinian who recently helped victims of the 6 February quakes in Turkiye, faced his fate on returning to his country — getting killed by Israeli gunfire in the Occupied West Bank.

Aktash, 37, whose family says he “loved life and helped others in his hometown and in Turkiye, which he adored”, was shot in the abdomen.

On Sunday, Aktash was killed and dozens of others injured in attacks carried out by settlers under the protection of the Israeli Army in the village of Zatara, south of Nablus, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Settlers carried out riotous acts in the villages of Huwara, Beita, Asira Al-Qibliya, Burin and Zatara, after two Israelis were killed in a shooting attack on their car near Huwara.

READ: Israel reels after Huwara shooting

Charity work

Sameh’s older brother, Wasel Aktash, 52, said his younger brother “was loving life and merciful to people. He was a preacher and loved Turkiye very much.”

Wasel told Anadolu that “Sameh went out for 40 days as preacher to Turkiye and he, like his family, has strong relations with friends and merchants in southern Turkiye.”

Sameh visited Turkiye several times with his family, and when the earthquake occurred, he decided to go and provide assistance to the affected people and, in coordination with their brother Yasser, who lives in the city of Bursa in north-western Turkiye, Sameh and his family provided aid to earthquake victims.

“Sameh distributed about two trucks of foodstuff, blankets and bedding in the Turkish areas hit by the earthquake,” his brother said.

“What we have offered to the brothers in Turkiye is little, and it is something that is not to be mentioned, and they have a great place in our hearts,” Wasel said.

Sameh conveyed sad stories to his family about the extent of the destruction and the suffering of those affected in Turkiye. On his return to the village, he began working with Beita Municipality to purchase equipment, cranes and thermal sensors for use in the event of an earthquake in Palestine.

READ: Eyewitness: Settlers carried out new Nakba in Huwara