Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced Tuesday that the
Palestinians were expecting an international inquiry into the "assassination" of
Palestinian detainee Arafat Jaradat in Israeli prison last weekend.
has officially requested an international commission of inquiry into the death
of Jaradat," Abbas declared.
Abbas told members of the PLO Executive Committee
during a meeting in Ramallah that a Palestinian forensic expert had already
determined that Jaradat died as a realist of torture.
"Now we are waiting for an
international commission of inquiry to find out how Jaradat was assassinated in
prison," he said.
Abbas said that the Palestinians were facing an
"unprecedented Israeli escalation targeting teenagers and children protesting
against practices of the occupation and settlers, especially against Palestinian
Abbas condemned Israel for rearresting Palestinians who had been
released in exchange for IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. "We don't know what are the
dangerous security offenses they committed to be returned to prison," he
Abbas said that the current protests in the West Bank were in
response to Israeli "assaults" on youths and the continued imprisonment of
The Palestinians, he emphasized, were not interested in a
further escalation of tensions. "We want to reach a peaceful settlement based on
international legitimacy," Abbas continued. "We want an end to occupation of the
land of the occupied state of Palestine."
Following the meeting in Ramallah, the
PLO Executive Committee appealed to Palestinians to avoid being dragged by
Israel into a confrontation. The committee urged Palestinians to support
the struggle of hunger-strikers in Israeli prisons.
Referring to the
death of Jaradat, the committee reiterated the charge that he had died of
torture while being held in Israeli custody.
PLO Secretary-General Yasser
Abed Rabbo also called for a UN-led inquiry into the death of Jaradat.