PNA accuses Israel of killing Palestinian prisoner

08:20, April 23, 2010      

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The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Thursday held Israel responsible for the death of a prisoner in an Israeli jail last week.

Raed Abu Hammad, 31, died on Friday "due to a direct strike on his backbone," Eissa Qaraqe, Palestinian minister of prisoners' affairs, told a press conference Thursday.

The autopsy, which was co-conducted by Palestinian and Israeli doctors, suggested that somebody hit the prisoner, who had been held at a solitary cell, on the spinal bone "and it is known that such strikes could cause death," Qaraqe said.

Abu Hammad, a Hamas member, who began to serve a 10-year sentence in an Israeli jail since 2005 for stabbing an Israeli soldier, lived under torture when in detention, the minister said.

The PNA would "use all legal means to sue the Israeli side on this new crime," the minister added.

The death of Abu Hammad brought the number of Palestinians died in Israeli jails to 198 since Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in 1967, the minister said.



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