The United States on Wednesday urged an investigation after an 80-year-old Palestinian-American was found dead in the occupied West Bank, following arrest by Israel.
The mayor of the village of Jiljiliya, north of Ramallah, told AFP that Omar Abdulmajeed Asad’s body was still in handcuffs after his death.
In Washington, US State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed that Asad held US citizenship.
He also told reporters that the government had been in touch with the family to offer condolences, as well as the Israeli government to seek clarification. He said “We support a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this incident”
The village mayor, Fuad Moutee, said Asad and his family were returning from visiting relatives when around 30 to 40 Israeli troops carried out a pre-dawn operation.
Moutee said “They stopped the cars in the village centre and arrested the passengers inside and handcuffed them”.
After the troops withdrew, villagers found Asad’s body in a building under construction.
In a brief statement, the Palestinian health ministry confirmed the mayor’s version of events, adding that Asad had died of a heart attack.