Probe urged after Gaza doctor Iyad Rantisi dies in Israeli detention

Probe urged after Gaza doctor Iyad Rantisi dies in Israeli detention
Dr Iyad Rantisi was detained in northern Gaza in November by Israeli forces, before being placed in a Shin Bet facility where he died six days later.
2 min read
20 June, 2024
Dr Rantisi worked as a director of a women's medical facility, part of the Kamal Adwan Hospital [Getty/file photo]

Gaza authorities have called for an international investigation after a Palestinian doctor died six days after being held in Israeli detention, according to reports earlier this week.

Gaza's government media office condemned Dr Iyad Rantisi's death and described the incident as an "execution" and a "horrific crime", saying it was part of continued crimes against Palestinian medical personnel in the war-hit Gaza Strip.

Dr Rantisi, the director of a women's medical facility part of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, died in November in Israel's Shikma Prison after being interrogated by Shin Bet agents, Haaretz reported.

Dr Rantisi was detained on 11 November in the north of the Gaza Strip, just over one month into Israel’s war on the enclave.

Shin Bet said they arrested the doctor on suspicion of "involvement in holding Israel captives" in Gaza.

The 53-year-old doctor’s family and hospital told Haaretz they were never informed of his death, according to the manager of the Kamal Adwan Hospital, Dr Husam Abu Safia.

Dr Abu Safia told the Israeli daily his colleague was detained by Israeli forces at an army checkpoint, while trying to cross from north to south Gaza, in compliance with military orders.

Live Story

Dr Abu Safia said they had received no news regarding Dr Rantisi, and came to the conclusion that he had died in Israeli custody.

Dr Rantisi’s death comes after another Palestinian doctor, Dr Adnan al-Bursh, was killed by Israeli forces following his detention.

Al-Bursh the head of orthopaedic medicine at Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital, was held and tortured from December, dying on 19 April at the Ofer detention centre, located in the occupied West Bank.

The doctor’s death was described as a "deliberate assassination" by Palestinian rights groups.

Dr Rantisi's death has reportedly prompted a probe by a department of Israel's ministry of justice that investigates allegations against Shin Bet interrogators.

The ministry said the investigation has now concluded and it will review its findings, although it did not disclose when.

Throughout its military campaign in Gaza, which has killed at least 37,396 Palestinians as of Wednesday, Israel has relentlessly targeted hospitals, medical facilities and ambulances, rendering Gaza's health system near non-existent.

The enclave’s health system has since collapsed, with most of Gaza's hospitals ceasing operations due to a lack of fuel, electricity and other medical equipment.

Over 500 medical staff in Gaza have also been killed by Israel since 7 October.

Israel has detained thousands in Gaza, including women and children, subjecting them to torture, abuse, sexual assault, and humiliation.