Palestinians: Israel’s arrogance will provoke Intifada

Israel has clearly demonstrated that its objective is not to resolve the Middle East conflict, but to keep the flames of the conflict at a manageable level. Israel has further demonstrated with concrete acts that it will not abide by international law, nor will it submit itself willingly to international bodies.

The father of Arafat Jaradat after identifying his son's body on Sunday (Photo: Yotam Ronen, activestills.org)
The father of Arafat Jaradat after identifying his son’s body on Sunday (Photo: Yotam Ronen, activestills.org)

The Israeli army was on high alert in the West Bank Monday ahead of the funeral of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian prisoner who died Saturday while in Israeli custody in Meggido Prison. Israeli forces bolstered deployment near Hebron and in the area surrounding the villages of Beit Einun and Saeer, where Jaradat resided. The army also halted settlers’ traffic on Road 60 to Hebron on both sides.

Jaradat’s death further agitated the already extremely tense West Bank. Sunday saw hundreds of Palestinians clash with security forces during several demonstrations held over Jaradat’s death.

Jaradat’s death triggered fresh protests in the West Bank on Sunday, leading numerous Israeli analysts to believe the situation is getting closer and closer to a third intifada. Clashes were reported in Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Nablus, in which at least 36 Palestinians were wounded.

On Sunday, Jaradat’s body was handed over to his family in Saeer. Earlier Israel launched an official investigation into his death an autopsy was conducted in the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv with the presence of a Palestinian doctor and a legal team from the PA Ministry of Detainee Affairs.

Palestinian Prisoner Society Chairman Qadura Fares said that the autopsy shows that Jaradat died of torture inflicted during his interrogation, and not due to a cardiac arrest as was claimed by the Israeli General Security Services (GSS).

According to the Ministry of Detainee Affairs, Israeli interrogators used hanging techniques and sleep deprivation to torture Jaradat one day prior to his death.

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday strongly condemned Jaradat’s death and called for a UN investigation into the case.

Jaradat’s lawyer, Kamil Sabbagh, also claims his client was tortured by Israeli interrogators.

Sabbagh said in a published statement that when he entered the courtroom during a previous hearing, he saw Jaradat sitting on a wooden chair in front of the judge. His back was hunched and he looked sick and fragile.

“When I sat next to him he told me that he had serious pains in his back and other parts of his body because he was being beaten up and hanged for many long hours while he was being investigated,”  wrote Sabbagh.

Sabbagh also said that he informed the judge his client had been tortured. The judge ordered that Jaradat should be examined by the prison doctor but “this didn’t happen,” the lawyer added.

Fearing that the death of Jaradat, along with the hunger strike currently being conducted by four Palestinian prisoners, may lead to uncontrollable tensions in the West Bank, the Israeli prime minister said he would release the NIS 400 million in January tax revenue that Israel collects for the PA, and that the February revenue would also be transferred.

Israel held up transfer of funds following the PA’s successful bid for an upgrade at the UN General Assembly in November. In late January, Netanyahu announced that Israel would transfer December’s revenues on a “one-time basis” because of economic hardships facing the PA.

Israeli analysts believe that the key to thwarting a major Palestinian popular upraising is in the hands of the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu has sent a warning to the PA through his envoy, Isaac Molho, demanding Palestinian leadership put an immediate end to the present wave of clashes.

Israel – under pressure from the recent events in the occupied Palestinian territory, and especially if the Americans make a request ahead of President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit – is likely to consider additional steps as well, including a freeze on new administrative detentions or the release of a handful of Fatah prisoners.

However, the Israeli press reports that officials dismissed the idea that Israel might release prisoners in advance of US President Barack Obama’s visit next month as a confidence-building measure.

A Palestinian official, Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, told the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen satellite channel on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority supports and helped organized an escalation in popular resistance in the West Bank..

Al-Ahmad said Jaradat’s death would result in a further deterioration of the situation, which was already tense amid protests over the plight of four Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli jails. He said the ongoing unrest could lead to a third Intifada, “and if that happens, Israel’s arrogance will be the cause.”

Israel has clearly demonstrated that its objective is not to resolve the Middle East conflict, but to keep the flames of the conflict at a manageable level.

Israel has clearly demonstrated that its objective is not to resolve the Middle East conflict, but to keep the flames of the conflict at a manageable level. Israel has further demonstrated with concrete acts that it will not abide by international law, nor will it submit itself willingly to international bodies.

The committee for popular resistance in Palestine Monday called for more protests and solidarity tents in response to Jaradat’s death. The committee said Israel had killed Jaradat to put down strikes by Palestinian detainees.

At a rally in the Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis to protest the death of Jaradat, senior Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil urged resistance fighters to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

 

Published by the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

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