Palestinians call for investigation into death of Israeli prison detainee

Nassar Taqqa had been held by IPS since June 19 for suspected hostile activity against state security.

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July 16, 2019 20:42
2 minute read.
Palestinians call for investigation into death of Israeli prison detainee

A Palestinian prisoner, convicted of security offences against Israel, looks out of his cell at Nitzan jail. (photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)



The Palestinian Authority called for an international inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Nassar Taqatqa, who was found dead in his prison cell in Nitzan Prison on Tuesday morning.

Taqtaqa, 31, was arrested by the IDF in mid-June on suspicion of involvement in “activities hostile to the security of state,” the Israel Prison Service said, adding that the Hamas-affiliated inmate underwent medical checkups at a hospital in Afula a few days ago that did not reveal abnormalities.



The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the Israeli government and its security forces are “fully responsible for the martyrdom of Taqatqa.”





The ministry called for the formation of an international commission of inquiry under the auspices of the International Red Cross to examine the circumstances and details of Taqatqa’s death, as well as providing legal and political protection to all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.



“The indifference shown by the international community and its organizations toward the human rights violations and crimes of the occupation authorities encourages the occupation to continue to commit such atrocities,” the ministry added.





Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Committee, said that Israeli forces arrested Taqatqa last month during a raid on his home in Beit Fajar, near Bethlehem, and transferred him to solitary confinement in Nitzan Prison.



The Palestinian Prisoners Club in the West Bank also held Israel “fully responsible” for Taqatqa’s death, saying he was “martyred during investigation.”



PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the death of the prisoner, and said it “reflects the prevalent culture of impunity in Israel, which has been reinforced by decades of lack of accountability for systematic abuses of Palestinian rights and crimes against protected persons, including Palestinian detainees and prisoners.”



The Palestinian leadership, she said, “holds Israel legally and morally responsible for Taqatqa’s death.”



Hamas also called for an international inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the inmate’s death. In a statement, Hamas said that the “martyrdom of prisoner Nassar Taqatqa again exposes the criminal face of the occupation. The Gaza-based group called on Palestinians to protest against the death of Taqatqa and in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.



Several Palestinians staged a protest in the center of Ramallah, where they held Israel responsible for the death of the inmate. The organizers called for performing an autopsy to determine the cause for Taqatqa’s death.



Some 7,000 Palestinians are currently behind bars in 17 Israeli prisons and detention centers, according to reports.


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