No signs of violence were found on the body of a Palestinian man who died in Israeli custody, the Haaretz daily reported Friday, citing unnamed medical sources.
Palestinians have said that Muhammad Zaghloul Khatib, 24, died after he was beaten by soldiers following his arrest early Tuesday at his home in the West Bank village of Bayt Rima, near Ramallah.
The Israel Defense Forces has confirmed Khatib died in its custody, but it has denied claims that he was injured during the raid.
“At 6 a.m., special [Israeli] forces raided the martyr’s home and then arrested and violently beat him in front of his family. Two hours later, the Palestinian [Military] Liason informed us that he was martyred,” Bayt Rima Mayor Yazan Rimawi told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.
Following his arrest, Khatib’s family say they were contacted by a Palestinian intelligence official who asked whether he had any medical issues, Haaretz reported. The family said that he did not, and shortly after they were informed he had died without being told how, the newspaper said.
According to the Israeli military, Khatib lost consciousness shortly after his arrest for as yet unknown reasons. An autopsy has yet to be conducted to determine the cause of death, according to Haaretz.
“He received treatment from troops and was taken to the hospital, escorted by an IDF medical team, who performed CPR. He was pronounced dead at the hospital,” an IDF spokesperson said.
“According to an initial investigation, he was arrested without resisting or violence. The incident will be investigated,” the official said.
Palestinians have accused Israel of killing Khatib and said it should bear responsibility.
“The Israeli army raided our home this morning and executed our son by violently beating him,” an immediate family member told The Times of Israel following Khatib’s death.
Qadri Abu Bakr, the chairman of the PLO Prisoners Affairs Commission, said Israel bears full responsibility for “Khatib’s martyrdom,” the Palestinian news site Maan reported.
Abu Bakr added that “the brutal way he was arrested confirms that the occupation intended to kill the martyr Khatib,” according to the Maan report.
He also called on the international community to take “immediate action and hold Israel accountable for this crime and tens of [other] crimes that it perpetrates daily at the expense of prisoners in an open and scandalous manner,” according to the Maan report.
Adam Rasgon and Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.