Arafat Jaradat, 39, the Palestinian security prisoner whose death
in Megiddo Prison sparked riots across the West Bank
was buried with military honors Monday, in the village of Saeer, near Hebron.
Thousands attended the funeral procession. The Palestinian Authority's security forces maintained the order during the service, which had all the markings of a military ceremony.
Jaradat's body, shrouded in the Palestinian flag,
was placed atop a military vehicle, with eight officers serving as watchmen and walking beside it, as it slowly made its way through the crowd.
Full military honors (Photos: Gil Yohanan)
Several PA officials attended the service, including Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs Issa Karaka
and Palestinian Prisoner Society Chairman Qadura Fares.
Karaka said that the popular resistance activities would continue, adding that the tension among the Palestinian prisoners was a reflection of the strained situation on the ground.
He insisted that Jaradat died of torture while being interrogated by Israeli security forces.
The funeral procession
Jaradat's body was autopsied at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine on Sunday, with family members and Palestinian Authority officials in attendance. No evidence of foul play was found.
Fares, on his part, warned that the West Bank was on the verge of a new intifada:
"The situation in the prisons, the economic plight and the stalled peace process are pushing the people to the brink – but I would like to believe that we are still far from that.
"Instead of wondering whether an intifada is or isn’t about to erupt, the powers that be in Israel should do what it takes to end the prisoners' (hunger) strike," he said.
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