Arafat Jaradat, imprisoned for throwing stones, dies in Israeli jail
For the report on torture of detainees, see Doctors who are complicit with harm
In this posting: Eva Bartlett on the death of Arafat Jaradat and the contrast in state response to settler violence and Palestinian; 2) Ynet, death of Arafat Jaradat; 3) Ufree on death of Ashraf Abu Thare.
By Eva Bartlett, In Gaza blog
February 24, 2013
Arafat Jaradat died in Israeli custody on Saturday Photo by Palsolidarity
A 30 year old Palestinian, father of two and a baby on the way, died on February 23 in an Israeli prison. Below are a number of articles on Arafat Jaradat. It is notable, aside from his highly suspicious death (when his family says he was otherwise in good health with no prior conditions), that Jaradat was imprisoned for allegedly having thrown stones at illegal Zionist colonists.
A very quick scan of just one news site (Ma’an News), from Jan 2013 to present, results in a number of ‘incidents’ by the illegal Zionist colonists who number over 500,000 in occupied Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The following are just some of many headlines, and just in less than two months. The assaults (for decades) range from throwing stones and sewage at Palestinians, to running over Palestinians (including children), assaulting Palestinian shepherds, torching Palestinian cars and villages, killing Palestinians, tormenting the Palestinians of Khalil (Hebron) and around Nablus…
January 2013 to present, some of the illegal Zionist colonists’ aggressions:
“Dozens of settlers entered Jalud village, south of Nablus, and pelted it with rocks, settlement monitoring official Ghassan Daghlas said.
Two-year-old Farah Nanseem was hit in the head, and his father and uncle were also hurt.“
“42-year-old Khalid Mahmoud Barry was physically attacked after trying to stop settlers stealing his sheep in Immatin village.“
“Israeli settlers shot and injured two Palestinians in the village of Qusra south of Nablus on Saturday in the northern West Bank, a Ma’an correspondent said.“
Are any of these illegal Zionist colonists ever sent to prison, even for the killing of Palestinians?
And this young man, Arafat Jaradat, is imprisoned, very likely tortured and has died as a result of being accused by the Zionist occupation of throwing stones at the illegal Zionist colonists.
With 11 Palestinian political prisoners on long-term hunger strikes, including five who are in their 80 days, two of whom are over 200 days, and now over 4000 (of the 4, 743 Palestinians detained by Israel, including 193 children and 178 held under administrative detention) joining in a solidarity hunger strike, is the Zionist regime trying to ignite a third Intifada? By all accounts, if one of the long-term hunger striking Palestinian political prisoners is martyred in Zionist prison, that 3rd uprising will erupt.
Palestinians, Palestinian political prisoners, are calling for nothing more than justice, freedom, their very basic human rights.
Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli custody [Alternative Information Center (AIC)]
“Palestinian prisoner Arafat Shalesh Jaradat died in Israeli custody on Saturday in Israel’s Megiddo prison. Jaradat, 30 years old and from the Hebron area town of Sair, was arrested last week from his home on suspicion of throwing rocks during Israel’s November “Operation Pillar of Defence” attack on the Gaza Strip. Jaradat was the father of two children, four-year-old daughter Yara and two-year old son Mohammad. His wife Dalal is pregnant with their third child.
Jaradat’s family told Palestinian news sources that he had been tortured during interrogation, while the Israeli media quotes sources from the General Security Services (GSS) that Jaradat had been seen on Friday “several times” by a doctor, who found nothing wrong with him. In contravention of medical ethics, doctors affiliated with Israel’s Prison Services participate in Israeli interrogations to ascertain the prisoner is well enough to continue being interrogated.
“Our information was that Jaradat was being interrogated and then he died,” stated Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainees Issa Qaraqe. “Therefore we call for an international investigation into his death, which may have resulted from torture.”
An Israeli Prison Authority spokesperson said that the cause of Jaradat’s death is unknown pending an autopsy to be conducted in the Israeli Forensic Institute Abu Kabir, although the cause appears to be cardiac arrest. A representative of the PA and the family are reportedly to participate in the autopsy.
Following news of Jaradat’s death on late Saturday afternoon, marches took place in Sair and Ramallah, while clashes with Israeli forces were reported in several areas throughout the West Bank. A press conference on Jaradat’s death was also held by the national and Islamic forces in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian prisoners have declared a one day hunger strike in solidarity with Jaradat. A general strike will also be observed in the West Bank’s Hebron district.”
PA officials call for inquiry into Israeli jail death [Ma’an News]
“Jaradat, according to Shin Bet, suffered from various health problems prior to his arrest, including back aches and injuries in his leg and stomach, sustained from a rubber bullet and a tear gas canister.
However, family members told Ma’an that Arafat was in good health before his arrest and did not suffer from any diseases or health conditions.
Arafat was taken directly to a prison far from his residential area. He was taken to al-Jalama prison in the north instead of being taken as usual to interrogation centers close to his area of residence. He was held there for four days before he was transferred to Megiddo prison,” his uncle Mousa Jaradat said.
Arafat was the father of two children, Yara, 4, and Muhammad, who is two years old.
Arafat’s wife, Dalal, told Ma’an that an Israeli intelligence officer brought him back to his home minutes after being arrested and told him to bid farewell to his children.
“For that reason I was worried. My husband was detained several times before, but this time the intelligence officer talked in a bizarre way,” she said.
PA ministry of detainees official Ziad Abu Ein is scheduled to meet with the family on Saturday to inform them about arrangements for delivering his body for burial.
Abu Ein said that the Ministry of Detainees would request that a Palestinian doctor representing the ministry examine the body and conduct an autopsy.
He called on the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross to take part in the examination.
Jaradat was arrested this week under suspicion he was involved in stone-throwing that had wounded an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank, the Shin Bet said.
Over 4,000 prisoners launch hunger strike in Israeli jails [Ma’an News]
Some 4,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched hunger-strike action on Sunday to protest the death of Arafat Jaradat, who died in Israel’s Megiddo jail a day earlier.
A spokeswoman for Israel’s Prison Authority told Ma’an that around 4,500 prisoners in Israeli jails are refusing food from prison authorities.
Palestinian activist Shahd Abu Salama on Arafat’s death:
Arafat Jaradeh, 30-year-old man from Sa’eer village to the north of Hebron, has died this evening after his arrest 6 days ago. During the past six days, Arafat was subjected to continuous hours of interrogation and different means of physical and psychological torture day and night to pressure him to surrender. His body ended up surrendering to death.
A little while ago, we lost 29-year-old Ashraf Abu Thare’ from Hebron who fell in coma 10 days after his release from Ramleh Hospital Prison in November 15, 2012 until his death on January 21, 2013. He served a sentence of six and a half years in Ramleh prison.
As the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer recently reported, “Since 1967, over 200 prisoners have died in captivity, fifty-one of them from medical negligence. Alarmingly, there is a recent trend of prisoners who have died shortly after they are released from medical complications that went untreated during their detention.
Shahd’s article on medical negligence in Israeli jails:
Circumstances behind death of Arafat Jaradat, who wasn’t among hunger strikers, still unclear. Special police unit tasked with investigating case
By Raanan Ben-Zur, Ynet news
February 23, 2013
Arafat Jaradat, a 29-year-old Palestinian detainee, died at the Megiddo Prison on Saturday for a reason yet unknown. It is suspected the cause of death was a cardiac arrest.
A statement issued by the Shin Bet said that Jaradat was arrested last week on suspicion he hurled stones at an Israeli civilian during Operation Pillar of Defense. On Saturday, he fell ill and medics were unable to save him. Police launched an investigation. Jaradat’s family was notified immediately after his death.
It should be noted that Jaradath was not among the Palestinian hunger striking prisoners. Due to the sensitive nature of the case it was decided that it would be investigated by the police’s International Crimes Unit which is set to write a special report on the incident. Investigators have already started collecting testimonies from guards at the prison and those in contact with Jaradat before his death.
Defense officials have offered Palestinian Authority officials to be involved in the autopsy, if one is conducted, and said they will be updated on the investigation.
Jaradat, a resident of the village of Sair near Hebron, was detained for questioning after locals from his village suggested he was involved in the throwing of stones near Kiryat Arba on November 18. An Israeli citizen was lightly hurt in the incident. According to the Shin Bet, he confessed to the act.
Prior to his arrest and during his interrogation it was revealed that Jaradat was suffering from back aches and had in the past sustained injuries to his left leg from a rubber bullet and to his abdomen from a gas grenade. He saw a doctor several times during his questioning and as late as last Thursday but no medical issues were detected.
Family: He was tortured
Jaradat is survived by his wife, who is pregnant, and two children. Contrary to the Shin Bet statement, the family claims he was arrested eight days ago and immediately transferred to the Megiddo Prison where he was questioned on suspicion he was a member of a Fatah cell. They claim he died after being tortured. “Arafat Jaradat… was arrested a few days ago. He was killed during the investigation,” the Palestinian minister in charge of prisoner affairs Issa Qaraqaa told AFP. “We demand the creation of an international commission of inquiry to probe the circumstances of his death,” Qaraqaa added.
Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, denounced Israel and accused it of negligence. He said Jaradat died because he was not properly diagnosed and hospitalized. He called on the international community to intervene to prevent similar cases. Meanwhile, the Palestinian prisoners’ leaders said they will launch a one-day hunger strike on Sunday in protest of Jaradat’s death. Upon learning of Jaradat’s death, Palestinian youths began clashes with security forces in Hebron.
Yoav Zitun contributed to this report
Media Release, UFree
January 22, 2013
UFree Network, [an organisation] to defend the rights of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, expresses its deep sorrow and grief over the death of former Palestinian prisoner Ashraf Abu Thra’. Ashraf … died last night, Monday 21st Jan. 2013, after two months of being released from Israel jails.
At this instance UFree holds [the] Israeli occupation state and the Israeli prisonr authorities responsible for his death as he [had been] ill in the prison for 6 years and a half. Hence, he was only released when they were aware of his deteriorating health conditions and that he might die any moment.
“All evidences [show] that Israel was behind the assassination of Abu Thra’ as they kept him in the prison for a long time despite his poor health conditions. He was only released when Israel realised that his life was at critical stage and he might die any moment. Let alone, he was not given the proper health care required and there was clear intentional obliviousness in treating him.” Said UFree Network.
According to Mohammad Hamdan, Chairman of UFree, [the] Israeli occupation state is not committed to International law concerning prisoners. He added that Israeli actions are flagrant violations of article 92 of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
“We are worried about the lives of the rest of Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails. We are grieved by the death of Ashraf and share these sad moments with his family. We will continue our work to expose Israel in conjunction of our free world until our prisoners are freed. We will not wait until they are killed by Israel. Today Abu Thra’ is dead and recently there was Zuhair Abu Lubada and Zakaria Issa Dawood.” Said Hamdan.
It is remarkable that there 1000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israel jails who suffer from different diseases and health problems. Around 13 of them suffer from cancer, 90 suffer from heart and diabetes diseases. While 18 suffer from Kidney and heart failure. Meanwhile, dozens are handicap or suffer from psychological problems, all of which need proper and extensive health care yet Israel is turning blind eye. In the prisons, it is rare where prisoners find good health care.
Accordingly, UFree Network calls on International Human Rights organisations like ICRC and WHO to bear their responsibility and save Palestinian prisoners. Certainly, there is great medical and health care shortage and lives of many prisoners at risk while Israel is procrastinating to provide it.
UFree Network | Media Centre
UFree Network is an independent European-wide human rights network; set up to defend the rights of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees.