Police clarify: No suspicion of foul play in hanging death of Palestinian

Police say autopsy to be performed at Abu Kabir forensics institute in Tel Aviv in presence of man's family.

November 17, 2014 09:37
1 minute read.
Yusuf al-Ramouni

Yusuf al-Ramouni, the bus driver from east Jerusalem who was found hanged Sunday night‏.. (photo credit: PALESTINIAN MEDIA)

Police patently denied rampant speculation in the Arab media that the Palestinian bus driver found hanged inside his vehicle Sunday night was murdered by Israelis, saying a Monday autopsy report will prove the death was self-inflicted.

“We know the guy committed suicide,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld Monday Morning. “There are no signs that this is criminal, and the autopsy report will show that.”

The driver, 32-year-old Youssef al-Ramouni, was found dead at the start of the route he was supposed to have driven late on Sunday, in an area of Jerusalem close to Jewish settlements and Palestinian neighborhoods.

Despite police assertions that evidence suggested suicide, rumors quickly spread in the Palestinian media via Ramouni’s family that he was killed by Jewish assailants, fueling tension and violence in the divided city.

Ramouni’s brother, Louy, told Reuters there was no way his brother, the father of two young children, would have killed himself and said there were marks on his body that suggested he had been killed.

“I saw the body last night and I saw bruises and marks that he was beaten up,” he said.

“There were marks of fingers on the body and also on his back there was a bruise as if he was hit by a hard object...Youssef cannot commit suicide, it is not possible, he is leading a good and happy life with his wife and his family,” he added.

Ramouni’s family has requested that a Palestinian pathologist be present during the autopsy, but it was not clear if that would be allowed.

After news of the alleged murder spread, Rosenfeld said a small riot took place outside the Old City, resulting in the arrests of three minors for throwing rocks.

Ramouni’s death occurred the same night a Jewish man was stabbed in the back with a screwdriver by an Arab assailant near Damascus Gate.

Police are still searching for the suspect, Rosenfeld said.

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