Alleged Israeli Informer Killed in West Bank
Saturday, July 3, 2004; Page A15
QABATIYA, West Bank, July 2 -- Palestinian guerrillas on Friday executed a suspected collaborator with Israel after onlookers in the town square here called for him to die.
Hundreds of spectators surrounded four gunmen from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades as the four shot Muhammad Rafiq Daraghmeh, 45, a father of two.
Militants had hustled Daraghmeh into the town's main square before the assembled crowd and asked him: "Are you a collaborator with the Israeli intelligence?" Daraghmeh said: "Yes." He was also asked if he had sexually molested his two daughters as reported by relatives who said they had disowned him. Daraghmeh answered, "Yes."
A gunman turned to the crowd and asked: "What should his sentence be?"
The crowd chanted, "Execution! Kill him, kill him!" as other residents of the town whiled away the time in nearby cafes.
The militants pushed the cowering Daraghmeh to the ground, riddled him with machine-gun fire, got into a car and sped off.
Palestinian groups have killed at least 30 people accused of being informers for Israeli forces fighting an almost four-year revolt in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Daraghmeh was accused of guiding soldiers to hideouts of militants, where the militants were captured or killed.
"It was necessary to make [Daraghmeh] an example for others to deter them from collaborating," said Jamal Abu Rab, local commander of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
A cousin of Daraghmeh said: "What he did was shameful. We considered him no longer one of us."
He said relatives recently tried to kill Daraghmeh to redeem the family's honor. Daraghmeh bore signs of stab wounds that the cousin said were inflicted by an angry brother.
Palestinian Authority officials criticized the killing. "We want every act to be carried out via legal channels and oppose anyone who behaves otherwise. However, we are incapable of enforcing law and order in Palestinian areas [subject to] occupation," said Local Government Minister Jamal Shobaki.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company