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80-year-old found dead after Israel West Bank raid — Palestinians

By AFP - Jan 12,2022 - Last updated at Jan 12,2022

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — An 80-year-old Palestinian was found dead in a village in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, with the mayor reporting his body was still handcuffed after an Israeli arrest.

The Israeli forces, however, said that while a man had been “apprehended” during operations “to thwart terrorist activity” overnight in the area of Jiljiliya, north of Ramallah, he had been released the same night.

It said it had launched an investigation into the matter.

“An initial inquiry by the commanders at the scene indicated that during the inspection process a Palestinian was apprehended after resisting a check, and he was released later that night,” the Israeli forces said in a statement.

“The Military Police Criminal Investigation Division is reviewing the incident, at the end of which the findings will be transferred to the Military General Advocate Corps.”

Around 30 to 40 Israelis took part in the pre-dawn operation in the village of Jiljiliya, mayor Fuad Moutee told AFP.

Omar Abdulmajeed Asad and other family members were returning from visiting relatives when they were stopped by the soldiers, Moutee said.

“They stopped the cars in the village centre and arrested the passengers inside and handcuffed them,” he said.

After the troops withdrew, villagers found Asad’s body in a building under construction.

In a brief statement, the Palestinian health ministry confirmed the mayor’s version of events, adding Asad had died of a “heart attack”.

The man’s death comes after clashes between troops and students on Tuesday at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, as well as an attempted car ramming attack in which an Israeli soldier was injured near a Jewish settlement.

Clashes break out frequently in Palestinian population centres in the West Bank when Israeli troops mount incursions to carry out arrests.

Israel has occupied the territory since the Six-Day War of 1967.

Excluding occupied East Jerusalem, some 475,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank regarded as illegal under international law, alongside more than 2.9 million Palestinians.

 

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