A Palestinian man who fled the West Bank into Israel after his sexual orientation was revealed was kidnapped and brutally beheaded in Hebron, according to videos circulating on social media from early Thursday morning.
Footage of the lifeless body of Ahmad Hacham Hamdi Abu Marakhia, 25 years old, being carried in the Palestinian city emerged late on Wednesday night.
An investigation into the murder was opened by the Palestinian Authority's police, it said, according to Palestinian reports.
However, those close to Ahmad are certain he was killed due to his sexuality.
Ahmad's journey to escape the West Bank
Marakhia resided in Al-Bait Al-Mokhtalef (The Different House), a safe haven for LGBTQ+ Palestinians and Arab-Israelis who have suffered from violence and discrimination, for their nationality as well as their LGBTQ+ identity.
"He was part of an LGBT pride group we started in the South," they said. "Many people knew of him," said Rita Petrenko, CEO of The Different House. Petrenko said she helped Marakhia obtain a permit from the Israeli Civil Administration to live in Israel.
She also aided him in a potential relocation to a third country, she said. "He was making extraordinary strides in his rehabilitation," Petrenko told N12. "An industrious, intelligent man...he was looking forward to leaving the country. He was next in line."
Petrenko stressed that emigration is the best option for LGBTQ+ Palestinians who were kicked out of their homes.
"Israel is not a safe place for them, even without taking socio-economic factors into account. Sadly, the relocation process is now longer than it used to be," she lamented, claiming a new policy in Canada, which cooperates with The Different House, caused the delays.
'We will complete the Palestinian LGBT revolution'
Labor MK Ibtisam Mara'ana, who worked extensively over the past year to promote the construction of shelters for Arab LGBT youth, mourned the Palestinian's death in a Thursday tweet.
אחמד בן ה25 נערף ראשו אתמול בחברון. אחמד שהה בישראל במקום מוגן בשל זהותו המינית. אתמול בערב הוא נרצח ע״י רוצח אכזרי ושפל.בממשלה הבאה אנחנו מתכוונות להשלים את המהפכה ביחס ללהט״ב הפלסטיני.— Ibtisam Mara'ana אבתיסאם מראענה إبتِسام مراعنة (@IbtisamMaraana) October 6, 2022
"Ahmad, who stayed in an Israeli shelter due to his sexuality, was murdered by a vicious and twisted killer," she wrote. "In the next government, we intend to complete the Palestinian LGBT revolution," the MK added.