80-year-old Palestinian dies after arrest by Israeli forces, ‘body found handcuffed’

(Photo: AFP)
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — An 80-year-old Palestinian was found dead in a village in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, with the mayor reporting his body was still handcuffed after being arrested by Israeli occupation forces.اضافة اعلان

Around 30 to 40 Israeli troops took part in the pre-dawn operation in the village of Jiljiliya, Mayor Fuad Moutee told AFP.

Omar Abdulmajeed Asad and other family members were returning from visiting relatives when they were stopped by the soldiers, Moutee said.

“They stopped the cars in the village center and arrested the passengers inside and handcuffed them,” he said.

After the troops withdrew, villagers found Asad’s body in a building under construction.

In a brief statement, the Palestinian health ministry confirmed the mayor’s version of events, adding Asad had died of a “heart attack”.

Israeli forces however said that while a man had been “apprehended” during operations “to thwart terrorist activity” overnight in the area of Jiljiliya, north of Ramallah, he had been released the same night.

It said it had launched an investigation into the matter.

“An initial inquiry by the commanders at the scene indicated that during the inspection process a Palestinian was apprehended after resisting a check, and he was released later that night,” Israeli forces said in a statement.

A review of the incident will take place, the findings of which will be sent to the Israelis’ military legal corps, the statement added.

A spokesperson for the Israeli occupation forces said the incident would be investigated “in a thorough and professional manner”, and he insisted that “the lives of every Israeli and Palestinian are important”.

The man’s death comes after clashes between troops and students on Tuesday at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, as well as an attempted car ramming attack in which an Israeli soldier was injured near an illegal Jewish settlement.

Clashes break out frequently in Palestinian population centers in the West Bank when Israeli troops mount incursions to carry out arrests.

Israel has occupied the territory since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Excluding annexed east Jerusalem, some 475,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank regarded as illegal under international law, alongside more than 2.9 million Palestinians.

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