A gay Palestinian who had taken refuge in Israel was found dead in the city of Hebron early in the morning of October 6. He was beheaded.
Ahmad Hacham Hamdi Abu Marakhia, 25, was kidnapped and murdered in the city of Hebron, suspected of being sexually oriented. The exact background of the crime is not known, the police of the Palestinian Authority have initiated an investigation.
The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reports that a suspect who was near the scene of the crime was arrested. It is said the alleged perpetrator recorded the beheading and uploaded the video to social media before his arrest. A PA police spokesman described the killing to the Times of Israel as a “new type of crime in Palestine” and urged people not to distribute the video.
Abu Marakhia fled the West Bank to Israel two years ago after his sexual orientation was exposed and was living as an asylum seeker in accommodation provided by the Al-Bait Al-Mokhtalef (‘The Other House’) association. Since 2019, the association has been taking care of LGBTIQ* Palestinians and Arab Israelis who have experienced violence and discrimination due to their nationality and sexual orientation.
“He was part of an LGBT pride group that we started in the south,” Rita Petrenko, the chief executive of Al-Bait Al-Mokhtalef, told Al-Mokhtalef The Jerusalem Post. “A lot of people knew him.” Petrenko said she helped Marakhia get a permit to stay in Israel. But because Israel – as has now sadly come true – is not a safe place for queer Palestinians, regardless of socio-economic factors, his move to a third country was imminent, according to Petrenko. “He has made exceptional progress in his rehabilitation,” Petrenko said. “A hardworking, intelligent man… he was looking forward to leaving the country. He was next in line.”