Middle East Eye / July 1, 2023
Qadri Abu Bakr and two other Palestinians die in car accident in northern occupied West Bank.
Qadri Abu Bakr, chairman of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission, died near the town of Jamma’in after returning from an event celebrating the children of Palestinian prisoners.
The Palestinian police confirmed the death of Abu Bakr and two other Palestinians, adding that there were more injuries reported. Bassem Sawan, a former Palestinian prisoner, and his wife were the two others also killed in the crash.
In a statement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mourned the minister, calling him a “great national fighter.”
“The fighter Abu Bakr spent his life as a solid fighter defending Palestine, its cause, its people, and its independent national decision,” said Abbas, praising his “honourable national and struggle role, and his work in the institutions of the Palestinian state,” Abbas said.
The Gaza-based Hamas also expressed condolences for the minister and Sawan, saying it “remembers the struggle of the Abu Bakr and Sawan, and their contribution to supporting the prisoners and their cause”.
Abu Bakr was born in January 1953 and hailed from the town of Biddya in the northern occupied West Bank.
He spent around 17 years of his life in Israeli detention, and was later exiled to Iraq. He returned to the West Bank in 2018, where he assumed the role of minister in charge of Palestinian prisoners.
The Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission was established in 1998 as a part of the Palestinian Authority, and deals with Palestinians jailed inside Israeli prisons.
Currently, Israeli prisons are home to 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners, including 160 children and five Palestinian Legislative Council members.
Human rights organizations have long condemned Israeli prisons holding security prisoners for their cruel and inhuman treatment of Palestinians.
Palestinians have been resorting to hunger strikes since 1968 to fight issues such as solitary confinement, denial of family visits, inadequate medical treatment, and other degrading conditions.
Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs dies in car crash
Al-Jazeera / July 1, 2023
Qadri Abu Baker, chairman of the PLO’s Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission, was killed in a traffic accident near the town of Jamma’in.
A Palestinian Authority minister died in a car crash in the northern occupied West Bank in an incident that also killed a former Palestinian prisoner and his wife north of the governance of Salfit.
Qadri Abu Baker, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission, was killed on Saturday on Route 505 near the town of Jamma’in after returning from an event celebrating the children of Palestinian prisoners.
In a statement, PA President Mahmoud Abbas mourned Abu Baker “as a strong freedom fighter who has spent his life defending Palestine, its cause, its people”.
“Abu Bakr has stood at the forefront, defending the causes of his country and his people in all areas of national action and struggle, and in the international arena, since the early times of the [Palestinian] national movement,” Abbas said.
Mai al-Kaila, the Minister of Health, commended Abu Baker as a “brave freedom fighter” who dedicated his life to the issue of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.
A former Palestinian prisoner, Bassem Sawan, and his wife were also killed in the accident.
Born in the occupied West Bank village of Biddya in 1953, Abu Baker spent 17 years in prison after he was arrested by Israeli forces for transferring weapons to the West Bank. He was then exiled to Iraq, but returned and assumed the role of chairman of prisoners in 2018 until his death.
In a statement, Hamas expressed its condolences saying it “remembers the struggle of the Abu Bakr and Sawan, and their contribution to supporting the prisoners and their cause”.