Israeli pathologists were conducting an autopsy Wednesday on the body of a Palestinian prisoner a day after he allegedly hanged himself in jail, a claim rejected by his family and officials.
Israel Prisons Service (IPS) said Tuesday that Raed Abdel Salam al-Jaabari, 35, hanged himself in a bathroom at Eshel prison in southern Israel and died en route to hospital.
But the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Club described his death as “mysterious” and called for an independent investigation.
Jaabari’s family also rejected the claim he had taken his own life.
Meanwhile, around 2,000 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel were refusing food in a strike to protest Jaabari’s death, IPS spokesman Sivan Weizman told AFP.
IPS figures correct to July 31 show there are 5,383 Palestinians being held by Israel for security offences, among them 446 who are being held without charge under so-called administrative detention orders.
Such orders can be renewed indefinitely for six-month periods with prisoners not told the charges and therefore unable to challenge them.
Figures provided by the Prisoners Club indicate that more than 7,000 Palestinians are being held by Israel.