x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Palestinian dies in custody in West Bank

The Palestinian attorney general has launched an investigation into the death.

JERUSALEM // A 40-year-old Palestinian man has died in Palestinian custody in the West Bank and authorities there have launched an investigation.

Human-rights groups have complained of mistreatment of detainees in Palestinian lockups.

Ayman Abu-Sufian's family says he suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes. He died on Friday, two days after being detained on assault charges.

The Palestinian attorney general has launched an investigation into the death, an official said yesterday.

Last week, a 30-year-old Palestinian, Arafat Jadarat, died in custody in Israel. Palestinian officials alleged that Jadarat had been tortured. Israel denied mistreatment and said more tests were needed to determine the precise cause of death.

Jadarat's death sparked protests in the West Bank, which has seen numerous demonstrations in past weeks in support of Palestinians detained by Israel.

About 200 Palestinian demonstrators threw stones at Israeli soldiers in Hawwara, south of Nablus, yesterday, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.

The protest came at the end of a rally marking the 44th anniversary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Demonstrators held pictures of Samer Issawi, a DFLP member who is in an Israeli prison and has been on an intermittent hunger strike since August.

The military spokeswoman said two Palestinians had been detained, but the army had not yet decided whether to arrest them.

Meanwhile, a delegation of European politicians paid a visit to Issawi's home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya. Six of them are in the region in a show of support for Palestinian detainees and prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Issawi was a long-term security prisoner released by Israel under a prisoner-swap deal in October 2011, then rearrested last year following allegations that he violated the terms of the agreement. Israel has ordered that he serve the remainder of his original sentence.

* With additional reporting by Agence France-Presse