It is very deeply rooted just as the depth of ideas, as his descent from a peasant environment where his village, Deir al-Ghusun, north of Tulkarm, in the northern West Bank, increased in intensity by lining up with the right to pay for it years and days of his life in arrest, summons, ban from work and prosecution.
Today, Monday, the family of the well-known Palestinian writer and academic, Abd al-Sattar Qassem, announced his death from being infected with the Coronavirus, at the age of 72.
Walid al-Shami, son-in-law of academic Qassem, said that he “died in Al-Najah Hospital in Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, where he was receiving treatment after contracting the virus about two weeks ago.”
Kassem received a BA in political science from the American University in Cairo, then a master’s degree in political science from Kansas State University, USA, then a master’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri, USA, and a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Missouri in 1977.
He was distinguished by publishing dozens of research papers, and one of the international publishing houses classified him as “one of the best hundred writers in the world”. He worked as a professor of political science in a number of universities in the West Bank, most notably Birzeit and Al-Najah universities (two specials).
The Palestinian academic is considered one of the most prominent opponents of the Palestinian Authority and the “Oslo” peace agreement signed in 1993 between the PLO and Israel. He was arrested by the Palestinian security services several times because of his positions.
Qassem has published about 25 books and about 130 scientific papers in addition to thousands of articles in Arab, foreign and Palestinian newspapers. Among the most prominent titles of his books are “Traditional Political Philosophy”, “The Fall of the King of Kings” (about the Iranian Revolution), “The Martyr Izz al-Din Al-Qassam”, and “ Women in Islamic Thought ”,“ The Brief on the Palestinian Question ”, and won the“ Abdul Hameed Shoman Prize for Young Arab Scholars ”for the year 1984.
In August 2014, Qassem was subjected to an assassination attempt in Nablus, when unknown gunmen shot him while he was on his way to a TV interview, but he miraculously survived, and the perpetrator of the operation was not revealed.
The Palestinian political expert was subjected to eight assaults, between beatings, direct bullets, and the burning of his vehicle, in addition to dozens of threatening messages.
An-Najah National University named him in Nablus and published a black sticker tagged with his picture mourning the name of its various faculties and Qasim’s students, and national and Islamic figures also called him on its social media pages, and the obituary of his students was noticed and remarked and mentioned his good qualities.
The Palestinian People’s Party said in a press statement that the late academic “lived a life full of work for the cause and national rights of his people, in defense of public freedoms and giving in the field of higher education.”
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) also called him in a statement and through its spokesperson Hussam Badran, who posted on his Facebook page, “We knew him as a sincere patriotic man, telling the truth, whatever the obstacles, challenges and opposing stances, a man who believed in the constants and called for preserving them.”
For his part, Zahir Al-Shushtari, a member of the political leadership of the Popular Front, mourned on his Facebook page as well, and said, “One of the thinkers, leaders and the author of opinion and free expression mourned a great loss for our Palestinian people.”
The leadership of the Resistance Committees and its military arm, the Nasser Salah El-Din Brigades in the Gaza Strip, issued a statement in which they mourned Dr. Qassem, and said, “He passed away after a life full of giving, sacrifices, and the continuous and tireless struggle for our national cause and the defense of our people and their resistance in terms, words and behavior.”
It invited the so-called follow-up committee in the national and Islamic forces in Gaza to participate in the “mourning tent” that will be set up for Dr. Qassem in the Unknown Soldier Square there tomorrow, Tuesday.
On his Facebook wall, Dr. Adel Al-Osta, a critic, professor of Arabic literature at An-Najah University, and a colleague of the late Qasim wrote, “We are colleagues since 1982. Qasim was known for his bold critical stances and his keenness on the academic spirit and his humor as well.”