Israel: Army fires two officers, reprimands another after Palestinian man dies

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The Israeli army announced Monday that it had fired two officers and would reprimand a battalion commander following the death of an elderly Palestinian man in January following “moral misconduct and bad decisions”.

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Omar Abdalmazid Assad, a 78-year-old U.S. citizen, was found dead after being captured by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank village of Jiljilya on January 12.

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An autopsy conducted by the Palestinian Authority concluded that Assad, who was suffering from chronic heart problems, suffered a heart attack due to the stress of his arrest.

The Israeli army had announced at the time that Assad was alive when the soldiers left him.

The Israeli military said in a statement that Assad had refused to cooperate with troops in the area and that “his hands were tied and he was gagged for a short time.”

After being held for half an hour, Assad and three others were released.

“The soldiers did not find any signs of stress or anything worrying about Assad’s health. The soldiers estimated that he was asleep and did not try to wake him,” the army said in a statement.

“The investigation concluded that the incident was a serious and unfortunate incident, caused by the moral failure and bad decisions of the soldiers,” he added.

The statement stressed that the fundamental principle of the Israeli army, which is the protection of human life, was violated. “The investigation also concluded that no violence was used in the incidents until Assad was arrested after refusing to cooperate.”

“The soldiers failed in their duties because they let Assad lie on the floor without being given the necessary care and because they did not inform their commanders about the incident.”

After the autopsy, a spokesman for the US embassy in Jerusalem said he was “deeply saddened” by Assad’s death and added that he supported “a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the incident”.

Palestinian officials have demanded that the soldiers involved in the incident be brought to justice in an international tribunal.

Assad lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for decades and returned to the West Bank 10 years ago, his brother said.

Source: AMPE

Source: Capital

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