Israeli troops attack funeral of ex-Palestinian prisoner Jaafar Awad

Israeli troops attack funeral of ex-Palestinian prisoner Jaafar Awad
Israeli forces fire at the funeral of ex-Palestinian prisoner Jaafar Awad in the West Bank killing one of his grieving relatives and injuring many others.
2 min read
10 April, 2015
Jaafar Awad's family believe his treatment in an Israeli prison led to his death.

The funeral of a 23-year-old Palestinian, Jaafar Awad, who died after his health deteriorated in an Israeli prison, was attacked by Israeli forces on Friday, leaving one of his relatives dead.

The funeral, in the West Bank town of Beit Ummar, northwest of Hebron, was fired upon by Israeli troops, which led to the fatal shooting of Ziad Awad and several injuries to others.

Yousef Abu Maria, a Palestinian activist, told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the funeral was hit by a barrage of sound bombs and tear gas as it approached a military tower erected by Israeli forces at the entrance to the town. This led to clashes between Israeli troops and young Palestinians who threw stones.

The 30-year-old victim, Ziad Awad, was shot in the back.

Jaafar Awad was released from prison three months ago, following his arrest in November 2013, but fell into a coma two days ago after his health deteriorated.

A medical source said that he was suffering from several ailments sustained while in detention.

“Awad's health had deteriorated critically while he was in the Mizan hospital in Hebron as a result of several illnesses from which he was suffering from from the moment of his release,” the source said.

The management of the Israeli Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem had refused to admit him for treatment. Awad's family also accused the Israeli authorities of trying to “assassinate” Jaafar after he was allegedly treated incorrectly for an illness he contracted six months after his arrest.

Jaafar Awad was released in January in exchange for the payment of a fine of $10,000 and a suspended prison sentence. He remained in the Augusta Victoria (al-Muttala') Hospital for around a month after his release.

The head of a Palestinian Authority body in charge of prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqe, issued a statement saying Jaafar Awad had died of  medical negligence at the hands of Israeli prison authorities. 

"Israel alone is responsible for his death," Qaraqe said in the statement, and called for an international probe. 

Jaafar's father, Ibrahim Awad, told AFP before his son's death that Israeli prison authorities had given the 23-year-old man "an injection that made him ill and totally weakened him." 

According to the statistics of the Palestinian Department of Prisoners' Affairs, there are some 1,500 sick prisoners, including 85 chronic cases, of whom 16 are critically ill, in Ramleh Prison's clinic.