Another Palestinian Falls Victim to Israeli Violence: Elderly Palestinian Dies of Heart Attack After IOF Handcuffed and Detained Him at a Building under Construction in Ramallah
Date: 13 January 2022
Time: 10:00 GMT
On the dawn of Friday, the 12th of January 2022, an elderly Palestinian man died of a heart attack after he was handcuffed and detained by IOF in a building that is under construction, northeast of Ramallah. This was during the cold weather troughs this winter. The IOF holds full responsibility for the death of the Palestinian elderly after abusing and detaining him in inappropriate circumstances; he was handcuffed and blindfolded in the cold, leading to a heart attack that caused his death. This incident is yet another one of IOF’s ongoing violence, degrading and inhumane treatment against Palestinian civilians, in disregard of their lives and integrity, and disrespect for the elderly. These crimes typically occur at IOF checkpoints and during incursions into Palestinian cities and villages, which are mostly conducted overnight or at dawn.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 01:30, the IOF moved into Jiljilyya village, northeast of Ramallah, and stationed in the southern side of the village, near the main entrance. IOF were foot-patrolling between houses when a car driven by ‘Omer Mohammed ‘Abdel Majeed As’ad (80), who held a U.S. Passport, arrived where the IOF were stationed by the entrance. The soldiers stepped out of the military vehicle and forced As’ad to step out of his car, after blindfolding and handcuffing him. They took him to an under-construction building in the village’s center and held him until 03:30, when he died.
Fouad Qattoum, Mayor of Jiljilyya and one of the young men who was detained in the building, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that ‘Omer As’ad (80) was surprised by IOF’s presence at the village entrance, as he was on his way back from a relative’s house in the village, and the soldiers forced him to get out of the car after blindfolding and handcuffing him. They took him to an under-construction building that is 200 meters from where the military vehicles were stationed. It was later discovered that he was left until 03:30 inside the building. After IOF’s withdrawal from the building and the whole village, and when 2 young men, who were detained in the same building, were on their way out, they noticed someone lying on ground and covered with a piece of clothes. They did not see him earlier as there were cement bags between the old man and them. One of the young men removed the piece of clothes and found As’ad’s dead body, handcuffed with plastic wires
to the back. He was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead due to a heart attack after medical examination.
IOF said in a statement, “in the early morning, a Palestinian was found dead near Jiljilyya village. According to the initial investigation, the Palestinian was detained during IOF’s overnight operation in the village after he resisted a security check. However, he was released at night. Thus, The Military Police opened a probe into the incident and at the end of which the findings will be transferred to the Military Prosecution.”
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the circumstances during which Asa’d was detained, as well as the cruel treatment that led to his death. PCHR emphasizes that IOF’s abuses, including handcuffing, blindfolding and detention in inappropriate circumstances constitute forms of torture and a blatant violation of human rights. Rights which are guaranteed by all international conventions and standards, particularly the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
PCHR calls upon the international community and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to take serious action in order to end IOF’s crimes against the Palestinian civilians and their abuses and other violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories.