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PA Calls for Inquiry After Terrorist Dies in Israeli Prison

The Palestinian Authority calls for an international commission of inquiry, after a terrorist dies suddenly at the Meggido prison.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/24/2013, 2:24 AM

Prisoners in Ofer jail (archive)
Prisoners in Ofer jail (archive)
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday called for an international commission of inquiry, after a terrorist in an Israeli prison died.

The prisoner, Arafat Jaradat, died suddenly at the Meggido detention center in northern Israel, a spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service said.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said in a statement that Jaradat had been arrested on Monday for his involvement in a rock throwing incident during which an Israeli had been wounded.

He was taken ill just before his death, Shin Bet said.

"After lunch, as he was resting in Megiddo prison, Arafat Jaradat was taken ill. Medics were called to treat him but they were unable to save his life," it added.

The statement said Jaradat had back aches and had previous injuries, one to the left leg from rubber bullets and one to the stomach from a tear gas canister.

"During the investigation he was examined on several occasions, including on Thursday by a doctor who did not find any medical problem. The investigation continued," Shin Bet said, adding that police were probing Jaradat's death.

The PA’s prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqaa, was quick to blame Israel for the death, telling AFP Jaradat “was killed during the investigation.”

"We demand the creation of an international commission of inquiry to probe the circumstances of his death," Qaraqaa said.

After news of Jaradat's death, clashes broke out in Hevron between PA Arab youths and Israeli security forces, witnesses and security sources said.

Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers also blamed Israel, saying the prisoner had died because of "the inhuman conditions in Israeli jails."

Israeli media reported, meanwhile, that security officials had invited the Palestinian Authority to be present on Sunday for Jaradat’s autopsy.

Qaraqaa said a PA doctor and Jaradat family members would be present.

Meanwhile, 3,000 terrorists being held in Israeli prisons have announced that they would be refusing food on Sunday, in protest of Jaradat’s death.

News of the prisoner’s death came in the wake of an escalation in PA Arab rioting over the past several days.

Violent clashes took place Saturday between Arabs from the village of Kusra and Jews at the community of Esh Kodesh in the Binyamin region north of Jerusalem. The IDF intervened.

The Arabs say the Jewish civilians uprooted their olive trees, and fired at them.

The IDF Was called into the fray after Arabs attacked Jews with rocks. Seven Arabs were reportedly hurt from rubber coated bullets fired by the soldiers, and inhaled tear gas.

Tatzpit newagency reported that the confrontation actually began because Arabs entered the community's vineyards and began destroying the fences that protect them.

On Friday, thousands of PA Arabs rioted and clashed with security forces, following prayer services at mosques in Judea and Samaria as well as on the Temple Mount.

According to various reports, dozens of PA Arabs suffered injuries during the clashes. At the same time, one policeman was lightly wounded by a brick thrown at him by Arab rioters in Hevron.

PA Arabs have been rioting throughout Judea and Samaria for quite some time, but are now intensifying the riots as a sign of solidarity with four terrorists who are serving time in Israeli prisons and who have gone on a hunger strike as a pressure tactic to get Israel to release them.

The four are Samer Issawi, Tareq Qaadan, Jafar Ezzedine and Ayman Sharawna. The four were released as part of the Shalit deal in 2011 but were rearrested after they violated the terms of their release.

Israel’s defense establishment said Friday that the terrorists currently on hunger strike in Israeli prison were jailed for good reason. The reminder came in the wake of statements of concern from the United Nations and European Union.

Sources in the defense establishment noted that the current hunger strikes are a violation of the agreement that was reached with prisoners after a mass hunger strike last year.