Knesset Member Miri Regev (Likud) sent a letter to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Sunday demanding he remove a memorial set up in Silwan for a Palestinian man who was shot to death by an Israeli security guard. The incident led to riots in east Jerusalem last September.
In her letter, MK Regev claimed that the memorial is illegal and "perpetuates the legacy of a Fatah militant who headed a terrorist organization."
Samer Sarhan was shot to death by a Jewish security guard in September 22. A police inquiry indicated that residents blocked the guard's way and pelted him with stones. Feeling threatened, he drew his hand gun and fired, causing Sarhan's death. Police were familiar with Sarhan from previous criminal activity. A screwdriver and a knife were found on his body.
Memorial for Sarhan in Jerusalem (Photo: Panet website)
"I learned that a monument was recently set up in memory of the shahid Samer Sarhan near the Mugrabi Gate in Jerusalem," MK Regev noted in her letter. Sarhan, she said, "was involved in an attempted lynch of an Israeli security guard as he guarded the legal traffic of passers-by in Jerusalem."
Regev claimed that the unauthorized installation of monuments was illegal and that failure to enforce this will once again be construed as weakness and disregard for the rule of law. She added that it would also encourage more illegal monuments.
September riots in Silwan (Photo: Reuters)
The MK mentioned that requests for commemoration by bereaved parents are usually subject to the approval of various municipal planning committees and noted no such request was put forth in Sarhan's case.
She also pointed to a recently approved Knesset law aimed at withdrawing burial fees in cases of nationalistically motivated crimes. "This law was meant to send a clear message to all those seeking to harm state citizens," she wrote. "I am confident that this can be applied to matters pertaining to memorials in a broader context."
Yair Altman contributed to this report
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