Saudi Arabia has admitted killing a protester who refused to leave his home and gave way to the Crown Prince’s mega-city project.
Abdul-Rahim al-Howeiti was shot dead by security forces in Al-Khuraybah, near the Saudi border with Jordan, the government confirmed.
Government media claimed that Al-Howeiti “shot the security forces” and threw Molotov cocktails to protect the land he considered to belong to his Howeitat tribe.
Al-Howeiti protested the construction of Neom, a futuristic planned city supported by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Protestor Abdul-Rahim al-Howeiti (left photo) was shot dead by security forces in Al-Khuraybah, near the border between Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the government confirmed.
The government has said that Al-Howeiti, whose age is not indicated, “shot the security forces while he was hiding behind sandbags at the top of the building.”
The statement continued: “He did not respond to calls for surrender, and following the continuous shooting and launching of Molotov cocktails, the security forces neutralized the threat.”
Officials said an arsenal of weapons, including machine guns, pistols and Molotov cocktails, had been found at the scene.
Al-Howeti was an activist who protested the construction of Neom – often called NOM – and the forced displacement of his tribe from the region.
Saudi political activist Omar bin Abdulaziz nicknamed him “NEOM’s Martyr” while others targeted “thugs of Mohammed bin Salman” to kill him.
Government media claimed that Al-Howeiti “shot the security forces” and threw Molotov cocktails to protect the land he considered to belong to his Howeitat tribe
Al-Howeiti protested the construction of Neom (depicted in the image of an artist), a futuristic planned city supported by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Neom is a planned city which will extend across the border from the Tabuk region with Jordan and will function both as a tourist destination and as a “smart city”.
The project is expected to be completed by 2025 and will cost approximately $ 500 billion.
The Howeitat tribe of Al-Howeiti has lived in the area for hundreds of years and was mentioned by T.E. Lawrence after working with them during the First World War
The tribe expressed dismay at having been forced to move from the area where Neom is under construction, without any consultation with the Saudi authorities.
The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that up to 20,000 people could be forcibly evicted from the area to make room for the crown prince’s plan.