Nine-year-old Palestinian boy kidnapped, killed in Belgian asylum center

The boy, who was named Daniel, was allegedly killed by other Palestinian asylum seekers who were attempted to blackmail his family for 100,000 Euros.

April 29, 2019 17:13
1 minute read.
Crime scene [illustrative]

Crime scene [illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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A nine-year-old Palestinian boy named Daniel has been murdered at a Belgian asylum center. His body was found on April 23 and the case gained attention across Belgium, as well as the Arab press.

The child recently came to Belgium with his mother and aunt after spending most of his life In a Lebanese refugee camp. The family was hosted at the Broechem Asylum Seekers center which is located in Ranst in Antwerp province, Flanders Today reported. 

The child was last seen riding his bike on April 22, following which his family and the center workers could not find him. Five men between the ages of 19 and 34 were arrested, all of them Palestinian.

Belgian State Secretary of Asylum, Migration, Social Integration, and Poverty Reduction Maggie De Block said the event was “unprecedented” and “unbelievable.”

“We are seeking answers to all the questions around this case,” she said.

The Ranst center has had many incidents of violent behavior, which were not reported by the media to ensure the asylum seekers would be seen in a good light, said Hilde De Leeuw of the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions [ACV] on the Dutch-language television program Terzake.

The uncle of the murdered child, Bassam Shahata, said that the center should be closed.

Calling the death of the boy "tragic," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel offered his condolences and vowed that "the culprits must be punished," The New Arab reported.

Dutch newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported that the child's aunt got a text message demanding 100,000 Euros as ransom if the family wants to see the boy alive again.

Roughly 20,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Belgium every year.    


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