EU calls for probe into Palestinian inmate's death

European Parliament is "extremely concerned" over Jaradat's death in Israel jail, urges release of prisoners including Barghouti.

Arafat Jaradat 370 (photo credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters)
Arafat Jaradat 370
(photo credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters)
BRUSSELS ---The European Parliament said it is “extremely concerned” at the death in February of a Palestinian prisoner, Arafat Jaradat, in an Israeli prison and at the renewed tensions in the West Bank following his death.
Jaradat, 30, died of an apparent heart attack while in Israel’s Megiddo prison in February. He had been arrested a week earlier on suspicion of being involved in a rock-throwing attack that injured an Israeli.
An autopsy report by the Israeli authorities stated that there was “no evidence” of physical violence against him.
A resolution, initiated by Belgian Socialist MEP Veronique De Keyser and adopted Thursday at the parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg, calls on the Israeli authorities “to open independent, impartial and transparent investigations into the circumstances of Jaradat’s death” and raises concerns about the Palestinians held in administrative detention “without charge.”
The European Parliament demands that they be charged and tried or promptly released.
“The European Parliament repeats its call for the immediate release of all imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including Marwan Barghouti,” the resolution said.
Barghouti is serving five consecutive life sentences and an additional 40 years for terrorist activity, including a Tel Aviv bombing he planned that killed three.
The MEPs want the European External Action Service and the member states “to monitor the fate of Palestinian prisoners and detainees closely and to raise the issue at all levels of political dialogue with Israel.”
The resolution also calls for a European fact-finding mission on the state of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, including Israel’s use of administrative detention, noting that the “issue of Palestinian prisoners and detainees has far-reaching political, social and humanitarian implications.”