A 24-year-old Palestinian has died after Israeli occupation forces stormed his home and beat him “severely” in the occupied West Bank.
Muhammad Zaghloul Al-Khatib Al-Rimawi was beaten by Israeli occupation forces during a pre-dawn raid on his home in Beyt Reyma, northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. According to a statement by Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Muhammad was arrested and “severely beaten by occupation soldiers and special forces to the point of passing out.”
Quoting the testimony of Muhammad’s brother, Bashir, Addameer relayed how Israeli soldiers removed the door to the Al-Rimawi house before rounding up the family. Al-Rimawi’s mother was attacked and Muhammad was taken into a separate room where he was beaten unconscious. Addameer added that Muhammad was then “taken away from the house while in such a state, and taken to an unknown location. After two hours, his family was informed of their son’s death.”
Denied they caused his death, Israeli occupation forces then tried to cover up the killing, with one soldier asking Muhammad’s brother if he had any previous illnesses. His brother replied that Muhammad had been healthy. Speaking to Quds News Network, Muhammad’s mother exclaimed: “Do not try to fabricate that he was ill. Muhammad was not sick, they [Israeli forces] killed him.”
Addameer explained that “this case represents a continuation of the occupation’s policy of utilising excessive force in the arrest of Palestinians […] in this instance, Al-Rimawi did not constitute a real or direct threat meaning that resorting to deadly force constitutes an extrajudicial killing.”
“There is a distinct necessity to investigate the circumstances of [Muhammad’s] death,” Addameer added.
The excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians is frequently used by Israeli occupation forces. According to Electronic Intifada, “Al-Rimawi was the third Palestinian to die this year after severe beatings by Israeli soldiers during arrest or inside Israeli prison.” One of those killed was Yassin Al-Saradih, a Palestinian from Jericho who was arrested and taken from his home in the middle of the night. A video showing Israeli forces beating Al-Saradih, even though he posed no threat to them, emerged shortly after his death, forcing Israeli authorities to change their previous story that Al-Saradih had died from smoke inhalation.
Night raids of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank are frequently conducted by Israeli occupation forces. According to Addameer’s statistics, Israel arrested 3,533 Palestinians in the first half of 2018 alone. Many of those arrested are held in administrative detention, meaning they can be held indefinitely without charge or trial. Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem notes that at the end of June 2018, 446 Palestinians were being held in administrative detention, including one woman and three minors.