The Palestinian Authority on Saturday strongly condemned the death from an apparent
heart attack of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat in Megiddo Prison, and
called for a UN investigation into the case.
There were demonstrations in
Ramallah and Hebron following his death and Palestinians in Israeli prisons
declared a one-day hungerstrike for Sunday in protest.
Mahmoud Abbas phoned Jaradat’s family to offer his condolences.
forces had detained Arafat Shalish Shahin Jaradat, 30, last Monday for allegedly
throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail at soldiers, his attorney, Kamia Sabbagh,
Palestinian sources said that Jaradat belonged to Fatah’s
armed-wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
His death comes amid heightened
tensions as a group of security prisoners in Israeli jails engage in an ongoing
hunger strike. Even before Jaradat’s death, Palestinians rioted and attacked
security personnel in several places in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem on
Police are investigating the death. An autopsy was set for Sunday, Sabbagh
The Prisons Service said on Saturday that foul play was not
suspected in Jaradat’s death.
According to sources within the Shin Bet
(Israel Security Service), Jaradat was arrested on Monday, after residents from
his village of Sa’ir outside Hebron said that he took part in a rock-throwing
attack in November that wounded an Israeli.
Jaradat confessed to the
attack during questioning, and also complained of back pain, as well as pain
from a rubber bullet lodged in his foot and an injury sustained when he was hit
by a tear gas canister in the stomach, Shin Bet sources said.
Thursday, he was taken for an examination by prison doctors, who told him that
they did not find any medical issues to speak of. After lunch on Saturday, he
complained of not feeling well and soon died, with paramedics unable to revive
him, security sources said.
Kadoura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian
Prisoner Club, a leading association that cares for Palestinians in Israeli
jails, said that according to the group’s records, Gardat did not suffer from
any pre-existing illness.
“Israel was responsible for his life,” Fares
Sabbagh told The Jerusalem Post that on Thursday, a military court
extended Jaradat’s arrest by 12 days. At the time, Sabbagh asked for a doctor to
examine Jaradat both physically and emotionally. He said that Jaradat had
complained of back pain as a result of sitting in a chair for a long time during
prolonged questioning. He added that he had also been concerned about Jaradat’s
According to the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human
Rights Association, Jaradat was the father of two children aged three and two.
His wife is pregnant with their third child.
PA Minister for Prisoners
Affairs Issa Qaraqi held Israel fully responsible for the death of Jaradat and
charged that he had been tortured.
Qaraqi and PLO Executive Committee
member Hanan Ashrawi called on the UN to open an investigation into the death of
“This is not an isolated case,” Ashrawi said, referring to the
death of the inmate.
“This is the case of the rights of all the prisoners
– rights that are being violated by the occupation. This requires quick action
to open Israeli prisons to the world.”
Ashrawi said the Palestinians were
determined to demand that the UN Security Council force Israel to honor the
rights of Palestinian prisoners.
On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians
gathered at Beitunya, near the Ofer security prison, and threw rocks at
soldiers, who responded with riot dispersal means.
Hebron and other areas
in the southern West Bank saw more clashes.
Two Palestinian rioters,
described as ringleaders by IDF sources, were shot with live 0.22 calliber
bullets in the legs and lightly wounded – one in Beitunya and one in Hebron.
Fifteen rioters were lightly wounded by rubber bullets at Beitunya.
instances of live fire were approved by commanders in the field.
also used riot dispersal methods on Friday to break up protests in Hebron, Nabi
Salih, Kadum, El-Fawer near Hebron and Jalami near Jenin.
the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday following Friday prayers, after
worshipers began throwing rocks at security personnel at the Mugrabi Gate. The
Mugrabi Bridge leads from the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple
Additional security personnel immediately entered the Temple Mount
when the rock throwing began and used shock grenades to disperse the crowds.
Arabs threw firecrackers at the forces. There were no injuries as a result of
the firecrackers or rocks.
Also on Friday, police arrested five people,
four adults and one youth in the capital’s Isawiya neighborhood.
said the group threw rocks at police, but no one was injured.
the IDF is investigating the possibility that Israeli civilians shot two
Palestinians from Kusra, near Nablus, during clashes with settlers and the IDF
Aron Katsof, a spokesman for the Esh Kodesh outpost, said
that Palestinians attacked his small community around noon by throwing stones
and that he and others from the outpost and nearby settlements went out to
defend their homes. He denied that anyone had shot at the
Rabbis for Human Rights said the Palestinians were shot in
Kusra. The organization’s field worker Zacharia Sadeh charged that violence
broke out after settlers had attacked two homes in the village.
Lidman, Ariel Ben Solomon and Reuters contributed to this report.