Palestinians are in uproar and demanding answers after a 30-year-old prisoner died while in Israeli detention. According to some, the detainee died as a result of being tortured during interrogation. This incident occurred as Palestinian prisoners went on a hunger strike.
The prisoner, identified as Arafat Jaradat, died from an apparent heart attack. An autopsy is now scheduled with a relative of Jaradat and a Palestinian forensic specialist expected to be present.
Demonstrations are heating up in the West Bank, and some Israeli officials and analysts fear that a Palestinian intifada, or uprising, may be in place. Protesters are demanding for the release of 123 prisoners who have been behind bars since the signing of the Oslo Accords back in 1993.
The demonstrations have resulted in protestors clashing with Israeli soldiers and settlers. Demonstrators demanded justice for the death of Jaradat, who was employed at a gas station and the father to two children ages 4 and 2.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, has released a statement that its members will resort to any means necessary to liberate the prisoners. Hamas has also called for the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers and criticized Palestinian leaders for relying on negotiations that have resulted in zero progress.
Jaradat was taken into custody for hurling stones at cars in a West Bank settlement. He was also accused of throwing Molotov cocktails, a claim which he denied. During his trial, he complained to his lawyer of severe neck and back pain as a result of harsh interrogation methods. According to Jaradat’s uncle, interrogators also threatened Jaradat by bringing his children into the discussion and warning that he will never see them again if he does not cooperate.
There is speculation that Jaradat’s death could be the premise for a third intifada. The uprising, should it take place, is expected to be in the form of mass, nonviolent civil disobedience.