Palestinian dies after Israeli forces beat him during home raid

Muhammad Zaghloul al-Khatib al-Rimawi. 

A 24-year-old Palestinian man died shortly after he was severely beaten by Israeli soldiers in his home on Tuesday.

Holding Israel responsible for Muhammad Zaghloul al-Khatib al-Rimawi’s killing, prisoner advocacy group Addameer said that “there is a distinct necessity to investigate the circumstances of his death.”

Israeli occupation forces raided al-Rimawi’s family home before dawn.

“After removing the door to the house, the soldiers attacked the individual’s mother and brought the members of the family into one part of the house,” Addameer stated, citing al-Rimawi’s brother.

Soldiers beat al-Rimawi in a separate room until he was unconscious, and then took him away in that condition.

“After two hours, his family was informed of their son’s death,” according to Addameer.

No prior illnesses

In this video, al-Rimawi’s mother describes how the family could hear the soldiers beating her son. At one point the soldiers let her into the room to help them find his ID, and she said she saw him collapsed, unconscious and undressed on the floor, before they forced her back out.

Al-Rimawi’s brother said that a soldier carried the unconscious, handcuffed man out of the house over his shoulder.

A soldier then called al-Rimawi’s brother and asked if the victim had any illnesses. The brother said al-Rimawi had been healthy.

Al-Rimawi’s mother also said her son was not sick apart from getting shot in the leg a year ago near the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh during confrontations with occupation forces.

“Do not try to fabricate that he was ill,” she told Quds News Network. “Muhammad was not sick, they killed him.”

Al-Rimawi was the third Palestinian to die this year after severe beatings by Israeli soldiers during arrest or inside Israeli prisons, according to Qadura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.

The two others were Aziz Awisat and Yasin al-Saradih.

“Since 1967, there have been 217 prisoners who have died while under the custody of the occupation,” Addameer stated.

“Seventy-eight of these were murdered, 7 were killed by gunshots while in prison, 59 were killed due to medical negligence and 73 died as a result of torture.”

According to hundreds of testimonies collected by the Palestinian Prisoners Club, 95 percent of Palestinians who are transferred to Israeli interrogation and detention centers are subject to physical and psychological torture.

Arresting human rights defenders

While advocating for prisoners, Addameer staff continue to face Israeli attacks themselves.

Israeli forces arrested Ayman Nasser, Addameer’s legal coordinator, on 9 September.

Nasser, 48, was issued an administrative detention order shortly after, and will be held without charge or trial for at least six months.

Israeli forces have previously arrested Nasser three times, most recently in 2014 when he spent more than a year in detention without charge or trial.

Addameer field researcher Salah Hamouri, a French citizen, has been in Israeli detention without charge or trial for more than a year. Last December, Israel released the group’s media coordinator Hasan Safadi, after more than a year and a half in administrative detention.

Khalida Jarrar, a Palestinian lawmaker and activist who sits on Addameer’s board, has also been held without charge for more than a year.

Meanwhile, Khader Adnan, a former detainee who previously undertook two prolonged hunger strikes – 66 days in 2012 and 55 days in 2015 – has been on hunger strike for more than two weeks to protest his latest arbitrary detention by Israel.

Adnan, 40, was arrested on 11 December, and has been held in administrative detention since.

“The occupation is entirely corrupt, and the right thing to do is to reject and resist it,” Adnan said in a message, according to Quds News Network.

“That is our resistance, even if it is with our empty stomachs.”

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Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.