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Cause of Palestinian prisoner death still unclear: Israel

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Israel's health ministry said on Thursday the cause of a Palestinian prisoner's death remains unclear following tests on samples from his body, after Palestinian charges he was tortured in detention.

The death of Arafat Jaradat, 30, last week triggered several days of violent clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank that left dozens of Palestinians wounded.

"It was found that the haemorrhages and fractured ribs found during the autopsy occurred close to death and are characteristic of the resuscitation attempts" by prison workers and medical staff, the health ministry said.

"No signs of other contusions were found. The toxicology tests were also negative," it said.

"There were no signs of significant change due to illness in other organs that could indicate cause of death; therefore, further tests to determine the cause will be performed."

On Sunday, the Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqaa, citing the preliminary findings of an Israeli-Palestinian autopsy, reported bruises on Jaradat's body, muscle damage and broken ribs, proving he died under torture.

Israel said at the time that the fractured ribs could have been caused by efforts to resuscitate him.

UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry has called for an independent inquiry into Jaradat's death.

sst/agr/hc/hkb

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130228/cause-palestinian-prisoner-death-still-unclear-israel