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Gazan doctor being investigated by Israel's Shin Bet dies in custody

June 18, 2024 at 8:51 pm

Doctors are fitting prosthetic limbs to make life easier for Palestinians who have lost their arms or legs after Israeli attacks in a project funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Gaza on April 28, 2024. [Hani Alshaer – Anadolu Agency]

A prominent Palestinian doctor from the Gaza Strip has died in custody while being investigated by the country’s domestic security service, the Shin Bet, Israeli media reported Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Dr. Iyad Rantisi, 53, the head of a women’s hospital in northern Gaza’s Beit Lahia, was detained by the Israeli army last November. He died six days after his detention.

Rantisi died at the Shikma prison, a Shin Bet interrogation facility in southern Israel’s Ashkelon, according to the Israeli daily, Haaretz.

Shin Bet said they arrested the Palestinian doctor over suspicion of involvement in hiding hostages.

The Israeli Ministry of Justice has ordered an investigation into the circumstances of Rantisi’s death.

The domestic intelligence agency offered no immediate comments on the media report.

READ: Risk of hunger threatens lives of 3,500 children in Gaza, say local authorities

Israel has faced international condemnation for its brutal offensive, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, on Gaza since the 7 October,  2023 Hamas incursion.

More than 37,350 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 85,400 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

READ: 640 Palestinian children detained by Israel since October