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IDF on high alert ahead of Jaradat funeral

Security forces bolster deployment near Hebron ahead of security prisoner's funeral as tensions in West Bank near boiling point

Ynet
Published: 02.25.13, 07:31 / Israel News

The defense establishment is gearing for another day of potentially violent riots and clashes in the West Bank, ahead of Arafat Jaradat's Monday funeral.

 

Security forces have bolstered deployment near Hebron and in the area surrounding the villages of Beit Einun and Saeer, where Jaradat resided.

 

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Jaradat, a 39-year-old Palestinian security prisoner held in Megiddo Prison, died Saturday from an apparent cardiac arrest.

 

His body was autopsied at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine, with family members and Palestinian Authority officials in attendance.

 


(צילום: רויטרס)

Riot near Hebron (Photo: Reuters)

 

The Palestinians claim that his death was caused by torture, but the autopsy found no external physical injuries.

 

Jaradat's death agitated further the already highly tense West Bank, sparking a series of riots.

 

Sunday saw hundreds of Palestinians clash with security forces during several demonstrations held over the prisoner's death.

 


(צילום: גיל יוחנן) 

Saeer (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

Furthermore, some 4,500 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel began what may become a widespread hunger strike in protest of the incident.

 

Sources in the Israel Prison Service said they hope the strike would end, further noting that the prisoners have to refuse all meals for 48 hours for the protest measure to be recognized as a full-fledged hunger strike.

 

As Sunday's riots spread, Israel relayed a demand to the Palestinian Authority to take all the necessary measures to calm the situation on the ground.

 


העימותים אתמול בגדה (צילום: AFP)

Nearing boiling point. West Bank, Sunday (Photo: AFP)

 

The communiqué was delivered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's special envoy Attorney Yitzhak Molcho.

 

Military sources noted that the PA's security forces are not usually present near Saeer and therefore would not be able to curb any violence, should it erupt.

 

IDF forces have deployed in several points outside to village, to ensure that order is maintained during the funeral procession; and to stem any riots from reaching the nearby Highway 60.

 

Troops stationed in the vicinity of Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank have also been placed on high alert.

 

 

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