Israel said, yesterday, that it has agreed to compensate the family of an elderly Palestinian-American man, who died during his arrest and assault by the Israeli army in the village of Jiljilya on the outskirts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
Earlier this year, Omar Abdulmajeed Asaad, 80, who suffered from respiratory and heart problems, was thrown to the ground on a cold night, gagged, blindfolded and handcuffed.
“In light of the unfortunate event’s unique circumstances,” Israel’s Defence Ministry announced, it had reached a settlement to compensate the family 500,000 shekels ($141,000).
In exchange, the family will withdraw the lawsuit they filed against the State, reported Haaretz.
The rare move comes after US criticism against Israel, after which the Israeli military also issued a statement condemning the incident as “a grave and unfortunate event, resulting from moral failure and poor decision-making on the part of the soldiers.”
Moreover, two Israeli military officers were fired from their positions while a third, a battalion commander, was reprimanded following Omar’s death.
The autopsy on Omar’s body was conducted by three Palestinian doctors, who found that he had suffered from pre-existing health conditions, but suffered injuries to his head and hands as a result of the blindfold being tied too tightly.
They confirmed that the cause of Omar’s death was “a sudden cessation of heart muscle activity, caused by psychological stress due to the external violence to which he was exposed.”
The Israeli Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi had said, “The way in which the force left the man in the field is unethical. There’s no conflict between professionalism and maintaining the IDF’s ethical code.”
“IDF commanders and soldiers have the tools to address these complexities, and I expect each of them to follow through diligently, while maintaining dignity and the IDF’s ethical code,” he added.
Israel has occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem since 1967. Human rights abuses against the Palestinians and breaches of international law are daily occurrences.