We are devastated by the tragic and senseless loss of 26-year-old Dr. Mohammad Khaled al-Osaibi, yet another Palestinian Arab citizen of Israel who has fallen victim to police brutality. A fresh medical school graduate, Dr. al-Osaibi was a promising young doctor who had just begun his career in medicine. He hailed from the impoverished village of Houra in the Naqab, which has one of the lowest rates of educational attainment in Israel. Despite the obstacles they face, Bedouins such as Dr. al-Osaibi are steadfast in their determination to pursue their passions and help their community. Dr. al-Osaibi worked tirelessly to overcome the socioeconomic disadvantages imposed on him and was deeply committed to serving his patients with compassion and excellence.
Dr. al-Osaibi’s life was cut short on March 31st, 2023 when he was shot and killed by the Israeli police while attempting to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the second Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan. We believe that this barbaric act of violence was politically motivated and aimed at escalating tensions in the region, as a pretext for the settlers to assault worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque and to distract the Israeli public from the ongoing mass protests against the Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir led far-right government’s judicial coup.
This latest murder by Ben-Gvir’s forces is part of a broader pattern of systemic oppression and human rights violations committed by Israeli authorities against Palestinians in the West Bank and Israel. Dr. al-Osaibi’s murder comes less than a week after Israeli police killed another Palestinian citizen of Israel, 22-year-old Omar Ghaleb Sawa’ed, and is reminiscent of the horrific killing of Eyad al-Hallaq in 2020, an autistic Palestinian from Jerusalem.Over 80 souls have been killed by Israeli police and military forces since the beginning of this year. 80 human beings have their own stories to share, dreams to chase, and families to love.
Ben-Gvir has turbo-charged violence against Palestinian citizens of Israel since becoming Minister of National Security. This will only increase after Netanyahu granted Ben-Gvir his wish to establish a so-called “National Guard” that is personally controlled by him - essentially a personal militia. The establishment of this militia has come at the expense of budget cuts to other ministries, including education and welfare, making it even harder for other Palestinian citizens like Dr. al-Osaibi to chase their dreams and build a better future for themselves and their communities.
The Mossawa Center filed an appeal to the Police Internal Investigations Department with the victim’s family and Knesset Member Youssef Atauna, demanding a thorough, objective, and complete inquiry into Dr. al-Osaibi’s killing and will continue monitoring the investigation. In addition, the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel declared a general strike for tomorrow, April 2nd, in protest of the killing, police brutality, and Ben-Gvir’s racist agenda. The issue of Israeli police brutality and discrimination extends far beyond this one incident, as Palestinians have been subjected to systemic oppression and stripped of their basic human rights and freedom of religion.
We call upon the international community not just to rise in condemnation of this blatant act of violence against defenseless worshippers during the holiest month in Islam, but to investigate the murder and hold those who committed and enabled it accountable. Ben-Gvir’s agenda completely disregards freedom of religion and threatens to turn the upcoming holiest holidays for Christians, Muslims, and Jews into bloody ones.
He must be stopped.