[Pnews] Israel withholds bodies of Palestinians killed in its prisons

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 29 16:43:18 EDT 2019


  Israel withholds bodies of Palestinians killed in its prisons

Tamara Nassar <https://electronicintifada.net/people/tamara-nassar> - 29 
July 2019


Human rights organizations are holding Israel responsible for the death 
of detained Palestinian Nassar Taqatqa.

Taqatqa, 31, died on 16 July in Nitzan prison, less than a month into 
his detention.

Israeli forces arrested Taqatqa on 19 June from his home in the town of 
Beit Fajjar near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

For the majority of his detention, he was held in the Russian Compound 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/russian-compound> in Jerusalem, an 
Israeli detention center synonymous with the torture of Palestinian 

“There is serious concern that he was tortured and exposed to ill and/or 
degrading treatment while he was in detention,” the Palestinian Human 
Rights Organizations Council stated 

Israeli prison authorities then transferred Taqatqa to the al-Jalameh 
detention center in the northern West Bank and then finally to Nitzan 
prison inside Israel.

It is unclear what caused Taqatqa’s death, as Israel is refusing to 
release his body.

“Neither we nor his family have been communicated with or given access 
to his dead body,” the council added.

His family said that Taqatqa had no health problems prior to his 
imprisonment, according 
<https://www.facebook.com/ppsmo/posts/2382755611789124> to the 
Palestinian Prisoners Club.

Among the council’s members are prisoners rights group Addameer 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/addameer>, refugee advocacy group 
Badil <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/badil>, and human rights 
organizations Al-Haq <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/al-haq-0>, Al 
Mezan <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/al-mezan-center-human-rights> 
and Defense for Children International Palestine 

    Bodies withheld

Since the beginning of 2018, three Palestinians have died in Israeli 
prisons, and others during arrest.

Palestinian prisoner Aziz Awisat 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/aziz-awisat> died 
after Israeli officers severely beat him in Beersheba prison in May 2018.

Awisat, 53, allegedly poured hot water on a guard in the prison. He died 
days following the beating.

Palestinian prisoner Faris Baroud 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/faris-baroud> died 
after 28 years in Israeli detention in February.

Baroud, 51, spent the majority of his imprisonment in isolation and died 
after years of medical neglect.

The bodies of Taqatqa, Baroud and Awisat are still held by Israel.

Some 220 Palestinians have died in Israeli custody since 1967, according 
to Addameer.

This includes 23 Palestinians who died after they were tortured since 
Israel ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture in 1991, 
according to the statement.

    Expelling photojournalist

Meanwhile, Jordan refused 
entry to photojournalist Mustafa al-Kharouf after Israel attempted to 
forcibly exile him last week.

Israel’s interior ministry insists that al-Kharouf has a Jordanian 
passport and that he can be expelled to Jordan whether or not he is a 
citizen of that country.

However al-Kharouf’s lawyer, Adi Lustigman, had told an Israeli court 
that his only travel document is a laissez-passer, and that a Jordanian 
diplomat had informed her that al-Kharouf would be denied entry, 
to Israeli daily /Haaretz/.

Israeli forces arrested 
al-Kharouf in January and kept him in Givon prison in Ramle in 
present-day Israel where asylum-seekers and others facing expulsion are 
usually held.

In February, an Israeli court denied him family reunification citing 
“security grounds” and ordered him forcibly exiled to Jordan.

Al-Kharouf has not been charged or tried, and agents of Israel’s Shin 
Bet secret police and a Jerusalem court did not respond to Lustigman’s 
inquiry as to why that is, if he really posed a security threat.

The interior ministry also accused al-Kharouf of being a member of 
Hamas, a claim he denies.

Al-Kharouf was born in Algeria to a Palestinian father and an Algerian 
mother but he is not a citizen of any country, according 
to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

His wife and child are both from East Jerusalem and have permanent 
residency status issued by Israeli occupation authorities, /Haaretz/ 

He has been living in occupied East Jerusalem since he was 12 years old.

    Assault on journalists

Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas 
canisters at Palestinian journalists in the occupied West Bank and Gaza 
Strip earlier this month.

Three Palestinians were injured, according 
to CPJ.

Among them was photojournalist Ayat Arqawy, whose work has occasionally 
appeared on The Electronic Intifada.

Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister that hit Arqawy in the 
stomach while she was covering protests against Israel’s demolition 
of buildings earlier this month in the Wadi Hummus neighborhood on the 
outskirts of Sur Bahir, a village southeast of Jerusalem in the occupied 
West Bank.

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