Ref: 85/2019


Tuesday Morning, 19 July 2019, in undisclosed circumstances, Nassar Majed Taqatqah (31), from Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, died while in solitary confinement in “Nitzan” Prison (al-Ramlah) in Israel.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls for a prompt and impartial investigation into the death circumstances of Taqatqah, who did not have any health issues as quoted by his family and Prisoners’ Organizations.

According to human rights organizations’ reports followed up by PCHR’s fieldworkers, Israeli forces arrested Taqatqah on 19 June 2019 after raiding his house in Beit Fajjar and taking him to al-Jalamah Center for investigation.  On 09 July 2019, the Israeli forces again raided and searched his family house while he was in prison.  Two weeks after his arrest, the Israeli authorities sent Taqatqah to solitary confinement in “Nitzan” Prison (al-Ramlah) in Israel to continue investigating with him.

Lawyer Raji Sourani, PCHR’s Director, commented on that by saying, “Israel has a black record of priors, which proves Israeli security services’ involvement in torture, inhuman treatment, and deliberate medical negligence against dozens of prisoners as part of an Israeli systematic policy and under legal cover. Taqatqah, as said, did not have any health issues prior to his arrest, so his death during investigation raises suspicions which urge opening an investigation into possible occurrence of torture and medical negligence.”

Taqatqah’s family said that this was his first arrest and they knew about his death via media.  Thus, they contacted the lawyer of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Committee to confirm this news.

PCHR emphasizes that living conditions of around 5800 Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails continue to deteriorate; 700 of them who suffer chronic diseases and do not receive the adequate healthcare.  PCHR also holds the Israeli government fully responsible for the death of Taqatqah and calls for a prompt and impartial investigation into the death circumstances.