Monday, 25 February 2013

Dozens injured in second day of West Bank protests - teenager shot with live ammo


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of people took to the streets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Monday in the second day of protests following the death of a Palestinian prisoner who PA officials say died as a result of torture.

The PA Minister of Detainee Affairs said Sunday that results from an autopsy of Arafat Jadarat's body indicate that he died after being tortured in Israeli custody, and not from a cardiac arrest, as Israel's Prison Authority had claimed.

Hundreds of people gathered outside Ofer prison in Ramallah, with clashes breaking out with Israeli forces. Eleven people were injured by rubber bullets, locals said, as protesters marched to the prison from Birzeit University.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said "500 rioters hurled rocks, firebombs and burning tires at Israeli forces, who responded with riot dispersal means."

Six people were hit by rubber bullets, she added.

In Bethlehem, 13-year-old Muhammad Khalid al-Kirdi was said to be seriously injured after being shot in the back and foot with live ammunition near Aida camp, locals said.

Two other people were injured as youths protested by an Israeli military watchtower near Aida, witnesses said.

In Tulkarem, 14 people were lightly injured by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters as protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers in the northern West Bank city, witnesses said. more

Thousands attend funeral for prisoner Arafat Jaradat tortured to death in Israeli prison


HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Thousands of mourners on Monday attended the funeral of Arafat Jaradat who died two days earlier in Israeli custody.

Jaradat, 30, died in Israel's Megiddo prison a week after he was detained. An autopsy showed he died from severe torture, Palestinian officials said Sunday.

Gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades fired in the air in Sair village, Jaradat's hometown, as thousands marched with his body. Jaradat's mother and pregnant wife collapsed at the funeral.

Large numbers of Israeli forces deployed to the area and imposed extensive restrictions on the entrances to Hebron and nearby villages. more

Fatah: Palestinian Authority supports escalating popular resistance


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority supports and helped organized an escalation in popular resistance in the West Bank, a senior Fatah official said Sunday.

"Resistance is a natural right and we agree unanimously on escalating popular resistance," Azzam al-Ahmad told the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen satellite channel.

Al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, said the Palestinian Authority had helped escalate popular resistance in the West Bank.

He said the PA may complain to the UN Security Council over the death of 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody on Saturday.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqe said Sunday that Jaradat died as result of extreme torture. The Palestinian Authority state pathologist was present at the autopsy on Jaradat's body, which was carried out in Israel.

"There were marks of torture on the back, marks of torture on the chest, a deep wound on the upper side of the shoulder, wounds alongside the spine and marks of torture underneath the skin," Qaraqe said, based on the Palestinian doctor's basic findings. more

Minister: Autopsy shows torture killed Jaradat


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An autopsy has revealed that Arafat Jaradat died of extreme torture in Israeli custody and did not have a cardiac arrest, the PA Minister of Detainee Affairs said Sunday.

At a news conference in Ramallah, Issa Qaraqe said an autopsy conducted in Israel in the presence of Palestinian officials revealed that 30-year-old Jaradat had six broken bones in his neck, spine, arms and legs.

"The information we have received so far is shocking and painful. The evidence corroborates our suspicion that Mr. Jaradat died as a result of torture, especially since the autopsy clearly proved that the victim's heart was healthy, which disproves the initial alleged account presented by occupation authorities that he died of a heart attack," Qaraqe said.

A spokeswoman for Israel's Prison Authority said Saturday that Jaradat had apparently died of cardiac arrest in Megiddo prison. An emergency service team had tried to resuscitate him but failed, she said. more