Palestinian authorities have begun a rare military trial of security officers accused of torturing a Hamas suspect to death at a time of an intensifying crackdown in the West Bank against the Islamist movement.
Haitham Amr, 33, a nurse, was arrested by the Palestinian intelligence services, led by the Fatah political faction, at his home near Hebron, in the occupied West Bank in June. Four days later he was dead, his body showing extensive bruising and swelling, including near the kidneys. He had been suspected of membership of the armed wing of Hamas, the rival Palestinian faction.
He was the fourth prisoner to die in Palestinian custody in the West Bank this year. All were suspected of involvement with Hamas, none was ever charged and, apart from Amr's case, there have been no official investigations. In another high-profile case last year a Hamas preacher, Majd Barghouti, was also tortured to death.
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