Jaradat’s death and the riots that have followed have heightened fears that the Palestinians’ frustration has reached a boiling point.
The married father of two allegedly died of a heart attack in Meggido prison, according to Israeli officials. The Los Angeles Times reports that Palestinian Prisoners Minister Issa Qaraqi has called for an international inquiry into the conditions in Israeli jails.
Qaraqi has also ordered an investigation into Jaradat’s death, saying that Israel should be held responsible for the young father’s death.
An autopsy by a Palestinian doctor on Sunday revealed that Jaradt’s body was bruised and showed signs of being beaten in several areas. Qaraqi released a statement about the autopsy, claiming:
“It is obvious that Arafat underwent severe torture during interrogation that cause him a psychological shock that led to his immediate death.”
More than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners have called for a hunger strike to mourn the young father’s death. The Guardian notes that the Palestinian doctor also found that Arafat Jaradat’s arteries were clear, meaning he could not have had a natural heart attack.
His relatives also insisted that the father of two was healthy, except for an old back injury from a teargas canister. Jaradat was arrested on February 18 in a stone-throwing incident where an Israeli was slightly injured.
A lawyer who attended Jaradat’s last hearing claimed that the Palestinian prisoner had been tortured and should be examined by the prison’s doctor. But the lawyer has said his request was never granted. Jaradat’s body will be returned to his pregnant wife for burial after midday prayers on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian prisoner’s death has inflamed an already tense situation across the West Bank. Hundreds of protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers on Friday during the continuation of months-long demonstrations supporting four prisoners who have been held in Israeli jails without charge for the past four months.