|Palestinians bury protester tortured to death in Israeli custody||
Palestinian officials, citing an autopsy, say Arafat Jaradat was tortured during Israeli interrogation.
According to AP, the weekend death of the 30-year-old gas station attendant and father of two comes amid rising West Bank tensions that have prompted talk in Israel about the possibility of a new Palestinian uprising. There have also been daily protests in support of some 4,600 Palestinians held by Israel.
The fate of the prisoners is sensitive in Palestinian society, where virtually every family has had a member imprisoned by Israel. Detainees are held on a range of charges, from stone-throwing to deadly attacks, and are seen as heroes resisting occupation.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel is trying to provoke the Palestinians with what he said are increasingly lethal methods by Israeli security forces clamping down on Palestinian protests.
"However they try to drag us to that place, we won't be dragged," said Abbas. "We won't be dragged, but they (Israelis) have to bear the responsibility."
Late on Sunday, the Palestinian Authority’s minister for prisoners’ affairs said Jaradat was tortured before he died in an Israeli jail.
Qaraqea revealed the results of autopsy at a press conference in the city of Ramallah in West Bank, The Guardian reported.
Qaraqaa dismissed Israeli prison officials’ claims that Jaradat had died of cardiac arrest in Israel’s Magiddo prison.
The Palestinian minister said Jaradat’s autopsy showed torture that caused fractures in his body and skull, while his heart was in good condition.
The Palestinian died in Megido prison on Saturday. He was arrested on February 18 on suspicion he was involved in hurling stones at Israeli troopers.
His death has sparked anger among Palestinians who want an international probe.
On Saturday, Qaraqea called for an international investigation into the death of the Palestinian prisoner.
“Our information was that Jaradat was being interrogated and then he died. Therefore we call for an international investigation into his death that may have resulted from torture,” he was quoted as saying.
Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, said Jaradat suffered from various health problems prior to his arrest, including backaches and injuries to his leg and stomach, sustained from a rubber bullet and a tear gas canister.
But the chairman of the West Bank-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, an association that supports Palestinians in Israeli prisons, said Jaradat did not suffer from any prior illness.
“Israel was responsible for his life,” Qadoura Fares added.
More than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli prisons, many of them without charge or trial. Four of these prisoners -- Ayman Sharawneh, Samer al-Issawi, Jaafar Ezzedine, and Tareq Qaa’dan -- have been on hunger strike for months.
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|Last Updated on 25 February 2013 18:11|