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‘Israeli’ Soldiers Held Elderly Palestinian Bound, Gagged for Over An Hour
By Staff, Agencies
An elderly Palestinian man who was martyred of a heart attack after being detained by Zionist occupation soldiers was held bound, gagged, and blindfolded for more than an hour, according to a report Sunday.
Omar As’ad, 78, a US citizen, was found with a zip-tie around one of his hands and a blindfold over his eyes, shortly after ‘Israeli’ occupation soldiers concluded an arrest raid in the central West Bank village of Jiljilya earlier this month.
Citing details from the Military Police questioning of five soldiers from the involved battalion, investigators found that As’ad was ordered held, along with a number of other Palestinians, to prevent them from alerting the targets of the raid that troops were operating in the area.
They said that As’ad had approached the soldiers who were manning a temporary roadblock and shouted at them. They said they restrained him and blindfolded and gagged him. He was held that way for more than an hour, the investigation found.
According to the report, investigators believe that gagging him made it difficult for him to breathe or to ask the soldiers for help. They also believe that his situation was made worse by the near-freezing temperatures at the time, and that he may also have suffered from hypothermia.
The report claimed it was not yet clear who ordered that he be held.
The investigation further found that when As’ad was released, soldiers did not check on his condition or see whether he needed medical assistance, the report said.
Soldiers from the same battalion have been convicted in the past of torturing and abusing Palestinian prisoners.
Palestinian officials later said As’ad died from a sudden heart attack following his detention. He had previously undergone open-heart surgery and was in poor health, according to his family.
At the time, the military confirmed that As’ad had been arrested that night, saying that he had “resisted a security inspection.” The army argued that As’ad had been released and was only subsequently found dead.
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