Elderly Palestinian dies during arrest by Israeli army | News

The 80-year-old was attacked in a village near Ramallah and died of a heart attack, his family said.

Ramallah, Occupied West Bank— An elderly Palestinian died when he was arrested and attacked by Israeli forces in the village of Jiljilya on the outskirts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to his family and local Palestinian officials.

Omar Abdulmajid al-Assad, 80, was driving home around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday when he was stopped by Israeli soldiers during a military operation in the area.

“Soldiers handcuffed him, blindfolded him and dragged him to the ground,” his nephew told local media at Ramallah Hospital, and “saw him dead and left.”

The family said he had breathing problems and died of a heart attack at the scene. Ahmed Bitawi, head of the Palestinian Medical Center in Ramallah, told Al Jazeera that Assad arrived at the scene around 5.30am and died.

Doctors are currently conducting a full scan of his body, Bitavi said, and his case is now being heard by the forensic and public prosecutors.

Yasser Qattoum, the Fatah movement’s secretary in Jiljilya, told Al Jazeera that the army was conducting night raids.

“The army went into Kyrgyzlia for two nights in a row – special forces entered on foot,” Katum said, adding that on Wednesday the army set up an ambush – either arresting young people or conducting some sort of security operation. “

He said the Israeli army stopped Palestinians with two other vehicles while arresting and attacking Assad, followed by an altercation with soldiers, during which neighbors woke up and witnessed the incident.

“People were watching from a distance – it was between the houses. They left him and walked out.”

He said the villagers called him “Abuhani” and had previously had open-heart surgery.

Photos shared on social media showed plastic handcuffs, reportedly on the wrist of the 80-year-old, who appeared to be attacked.

“What happened to the martyrs was a live execution and a major crime that should not be ignored,” local council president Fouad Qattoum said in a statement to local media.

“We demand that an international commission of inquiry be established and the culprits be held accountable.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Assad will hold a funeral in Kyrgyzlia.

In the occupied West Bank, overnight military raids by Israeli forces are almost a daily activity, during which Palestinians face live fire, arrests, raids and killings. In 2021, the Israeli army conducted 3,406 manhunts.