A Palestinian prisoner whose death in Israeli custody fanned violent clashes across the West Bank over the weekend was tortured before he died, the Palestinian Authority has said.
The results of an autopsy conducted in Tel Aviv were revealed at a press conference in Ramallah on Sunday evening after a day of angry protests across the West Bank and Gaza in which dozens were injured.
The findings contradict the Israeli prison service's claim that Arafat Jaradat died on Saturday from a cardiac arrest.
A Palestinian doctor's investigations found that while Jaradat's arteries were clear, the state of his body suggested he had been beaten in the days before his death.
That contrasts with an Israeli health ministry statement that said that the autopsy found "no signs of external trauma … apart from those pertaining to resuscitation [attempts] and a small graze on the right side of his chest".
It said: "No evidence of disease was found during the autopsy. Two internal hemorrhages were detected, one on the shoulder and one on the right side of the chest. Two ribs were broken, which may indicate resuscitation attempts. The initial findings cannot determine the cause of death. At this stage, until microscopic and toxicology reports are in, the cause of death cannot be tied to the autopsy findings."
The 30-year-old, a petrol station worker and father of two, was arrested on 18 February in relation to a stone-throwing incident in November during which an Israeli was slightly injured.
Kameel Sabbagh, a lawyer who attended Jaradat's last hearing on Thursday, said he had advised the Israeli judge his client had been tortured and should be examined by the prison doctor. According to Sabbagh, this did not happen.
"He had serious pains in his back and other parts of his body because he was being beaten up and hanged for many long hours while he was being investigated," Sabbagh told Ma'an news agency. His notes from the court hearing describe his client as "extremely afraid" of returning to his cell.
"Statements from the international community calling upon Israel to 'respect Palestinian prisoner rights' are insufficient when Israel can arrest, incarcerate and even kill Palestinians without … consequences for its appalling actions," a statement from the Palestinian leadership read. "Without justice, there will be no peace."
idk if these "just another day in palestine" things are really newsworthy at this point. nothing's all that surprising.