Palestinian ‘Beaten To Death’ In Custody By 20 Israeli Troops
Above Photo: Israeli soldiers detain wounded Palestinian protesters during the clashes near Ramallah. | Photo: Reuters
A Palestinian man died Thursday after a brutal confrontation with Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank that the Palestinian Authority condemned as a “cold-blooded execution” after security camera footage showed at least 20 soldiers beating and kicking the man after being shot.
In the footage posted on social media and carried by Israeli news sites, the troops could be seen kicking and striking a man shortly after shooting him, identified by Palestinian officials as Yassin Omar Serda, after detaining him in the town of Jericho.
The Palestinian Information Ministry said about 20 soldiers had administered a “heavy beating” to Serda, especially on his stomach and back. “The Information Ministry views (his) martyrdom … shortly after his arrest a cold-blooded execution,” it said.
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The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, PPS, released a statement saying that Serda, 33, was pronounced dead after suffering from seizures and being exposed to severe amounts of tear gas after Israeli forces reportedly heavily fired tear gas in the area during the raid.
The slain man’s family along with other witnesses said that he was severely assaulted during his detention, according to PPS.
Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, told Voice of Palestine radio Thursday that the cause of Serda’s death was severe beating to the head.
Qaraqe described his death as “a crime, execution and premeditated murder at the hands of occupation forces, which reflect the level of brutality and terrorism of the soldiers.”
Serda’s arrest and subsequent death came after Israeli soldiers raided his home in the Palestinian city of Jericho as part of its frequent storming of Palestinian homes looking for suspected protesters and members of resistance groups.
Over the past three months the West Bank and Gaza have been rocked with unrest over the Dec. 6 decision of the U.S. administration to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, breaking with international accords stating that the fate of the city should be decided as part of a final peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.
The case has a resemblance of another case in which an alleged Palestinian attacker was shot in cold blood by an Israeli soldier despite already being wounded and incapacitated at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Hebron in 2015.
Despite being convicted of manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, Israeli soldier Elor Azaria was sentenced to just 18 months imprisonment for killing the Palestinian man. Many in Israel argued he was justified in shooting a Palestinian whom they said had intended to kill Israelis.