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Date posted: March 02, 2013
By MIFTAH

The death of prisoner Arafat Jaradat on February 24 under torture by Israelís infamous Shin Bet interrogators sparked a wave of anger and protest across the West Bank and Gaza.

Thousands of Palestinians attended the Saíeer nativeís funeral on February 25 who was had been arrested from his home just six days prior to his death. Autopsy findings showed Jaradat had broken ribs, bruises on his head and body and swollen hands and wrists, apparently from the handcuffs. His lawyer reported that when he saw Jaradat in court Ė the only time he saw his client Ė he was exhausted and complained of severe pains in his back. Nevertheless he was returned to interrogation and died two days later in the Megiddo Prison.

On February 27, Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories also expressed concern over Jaradatís death.

"The death of a prisoner during interrogation is always a cause for concern, but in this case, when Israel has shown a pattern and practice of prisoner abuse, the need for outside, credible investigation is more urgent than ever," Falk said in a statement. ďIn light of Dr Aloul's findings that there was no evidence of heart disease or damage, and that there were signs of torture on Jaradat's body, an independent international investigation should be launched," Falk said.

Israel has said it would grant the PAís request for an independent physician to participate in the investigation into Jaradatís death.

On the same day of Jaradatís funeral, several Palestinians were injured, some seriously. In Bethlehem, during clashes with Israeli troops near the Rachelís Tomb checkpoint, two teens were seriously injured by live ammunition. One was hit in the head while the other in the back and leg.

On March 1, hundreds of Palestinians rallied after Friday prayers to protest Jaradatís death, and to show solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. In Bilin Palestinians marched after prayers in commemoration of the eighth anniversary of the popular resistance movement which started in the village against the separation wall.

Among the protesters was Prime Minister Salam Fayyad along with other officials and faction leaders. Fayyad along with hundreds others suffered tear gas inhalation and four Palestinian men were hit by high-velocity tear gas canisters. Furthermore, Mahmoud Audah, 20, was shot in the head with live fire during clashes at the Qalandia checkpoint. He was transferred to hospital in critical condition.

March 1 also saw the so-called Jerusalem Marathon, an annual Israeli endeavor to bring in internationals and Israelis to run through east and west Jerusalem in a show of solidarity with Israelís sovereignty over the city.

Israeli police stopped a counter Palestinian ďmarathon, set to be launched from Lifta, a destroyed Palestinian village on which the Israeli settlement French Hill is now built. Senior Fatah official Dimitri Diliani said Palestinian participants in the marathon handed Israelis a formal paper written in English explaining what this marathon really means for Jerusalem.

ďA few Israelis who didnít know the truth behind this marathon actually left,Ē Diliani said.

The PLOís Higher Council for Youth and Sports, the Palestine Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Athletics Federation also called on participants and sponsors withdraw from the marathon "or else become complicit in covering up Israelís grave human rights abuses in its occupation of the State of Palestine.Ē Sponsors include New Balance sportswear and Crown Plaza Hotels.

Palestinians meanwhile welcomed an EU report on settlements on February 28. Economy minister Jawad al-Naji welcomed the EU's recognition of settlements as an obstacle to the two-state solution. In a statement, the minister warned that Israel misleadingly labeled settlement produce as "Made in Israel"

The leaked non-binding document by European Union consul generals in east Jerusalem and the West Bank said the 27-nation bloc should be diligent in ensuring settlements are excluded from trade benefits enjoyed by Israel, calling for economic sanctions on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

PLO member and negotiator Saeb Erekat also welcomed the report and called on all European countries to adopt its recommendations.

Israel of course, was less than thrilled. On the same day, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the document would not help further peace.

"A diplomat's mission is to build bridges and bring people together, not to foster confrontation. The EU consuls have clearly failed in their mission," he said.

Samer Issawi was taken to hospital on February 27. While the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs confirmed that the prisoner was not Ďdyingí he was in very grave condition. Issawi has been on hunger strike for over 210 days.

A Palestinian woman was assaulted by a group of Jewish women on February 26 at one of Jerusalemís light rail stations. According to eyewitnesses and the Israeli woman who taped the incident, an Israeli woman punched the Palestinian for no reason. Her friends then joined in, pulling off her headscarf. Light rail guards apparently stood by and watched.

Israeli police later announced that they had suspended a police officer for racist comments he made on his Facebook page about the incident. ďThis is very good. Too bad the Arab b** didnít dieĒ

Finally, on March 1, Palestinian Authority attorney general Muhammad Abdul-Ghani Al Uweiwi said a prisoner being held in a Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho had died. Ayman Samara, 40, died while being detained on charges of assault, he said. Initial reports indicate that Samara, who is from Jenin, suffered from diabetes, hypertension and other medical conditions.

Al Uweiwi denied that the prisoner had been tortured or beaten during interrogations and said that an autopsy would be performed and the results made public once completed.

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