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Sunday
Feb242013

Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Conflicting Claims Over Palestinian Who Died in Israeli Custody

See also Middle East Opinion: What "Lincoln" Shows Us About Personal Politics in the Gulf States
Syria Live Coverage: Civilian Deaths in Aleppo
Saturday's Mali (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 78 Killed in Fighting in North


Ahmad Jaradat1848 GMT: Mali. Another ten Chadian soldiers have been killed in combat with insurgents in northern Mali's mountainous border with Algeria, Chad's army said on Sunday.

On Friday, 13 Chadian soldiers were slain in fighting around what one senior commander said was an insurgent base of "significant importance". At least 93 insurgents have been killed so far, according to the Chadian military.

The casualties are the heaviest suffer by African troops since a French-Malian offensive cleared insurgents from towns and cities earlier this month.

1543 GMT: Egypt. Military police have deployed in the streets of Port Said to manage traffic amid the seventh day of protests and calls for civil disobedience.

Hundreds of "Green Eagles" Ultras, fans of Al-Masry football club, blocked the Port Said-Ismailia road and the Port Said-Cairo road Saturday. They also closed down Al-Raswa Customs Port. After negotiations between military and police forces and protesters, the Port Said-Ismailia road was opened for traffic.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said Saturday that a judge had been assigned to investigate last month's clashes in Port Said that left around 50 dead.

The confrontations followed court hearings on an incident last year in which 74 football fans were killed in the city's stadium.

Qandil said putting military forces in the city's streets was aimed at "protecting citizens' lives and possessions".

1520 GMT: Palestine. Palestinians report that one protester has been wounded by rubber bullets during clashes with Israeli troops in Hebron. About 200 Palestinians threw stones and burned tires, while the Israeli forces used the rubber bullets to control the crowd.

In the town of Beit Ummar, about 150 Palestinians hurled stones, with Israeli troops firing tear gas and stun grenades. Similar fighting took place in Beitounia, where about 40 Palestinians gathered.

Palestinian police reportedly refused to disperse the protests, held in memory of Ahmad Jarakat, a Palestinian detainee who died in Israeli custody on Saturday.

Israeli Arab politicians Mohammad Barakeh, the chairman of the Hadash Party, and Ahmed Tibi, a member of the Knesset for the United Arab List, have visited Palestinian security detainees in Israeli prisons.

Barakeh saw Samer Issawi, on intermittent hunger strike for more than 210 days, while Tibi visited Maher Yunis, an Arab Israeli serving a sentence at Gilboa Prison. Yunis said he would go on hunger strike on Monday.

1402 GMT: Egypt. Hundreds of protesters have blocked the main entrances to the city and the central governorate building in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura.

The civil disobedience followed Saturday night clashes between protesters and the police.

Activists posted a statement on Facebook, "For a long time our demands have gone unnoticed through other peaceful protests and the time now comes to launch civil disobedience to reach our goal of getting rid of the current regime."

The statement called on residents to refuse to pay electricity bills, and encouraged them to strike from work and participate in any other action that would protest the "injustice against your revolution and your dignity and your being".

1042 GMT: Egypt. Twenty-eight people have been arrested in Mahalla for alleged violence in protests on Friday. They will be detained for 15 days pending investigations.

The 28 detainees, who were arrested on Saturday, are accused of throwing Molotov cocktails, attacking police stations, forcing shop owners to close early, and blocking railway tracks and main roads.

Mahalla has seen ongoing clashes every Friday since 25 January and the second anniversary of the 2011 Revolution. Among the protesters' demands has been justice for slain political activist Mohamed El-Gendy, a Tanta native, who died on 4 February after allegedly being tortured to death in police custody.

1037 GMT: Bahrain. Claimed footage of a car running over a protester on Saturday:

1035 GMT: Palestine. Hundreds of Palestinians have reportedly clashed with Isreeli soldiers at Beit Ammon near Hebron in the West Bank, throwing stones. Protesters have also gathered at Beit Amor and in the center of Hebron.

Meanwhile, an autopsy on Ahmad Jaradat, a Paleestinian who died in Israeli custody on Saturday (see 0950 GMT), is pending in Tel Aviv. A hearing is scheduled on Sunday afternoon at a magistrate's court regarding the autopsy procedures. Representatives of the International Investigations Unit of the police, who have been appointed to enquire into the circusmtances of Jaradat's death, are expected to attend.

1015 GMT: Bahrain. Protesters march on Saturday to demand the release of the body of Mahmoud AlJazeeri, who died on Thursday from injuries suffered when he was hit by a tear gas canister fired by police (Photo: AP):

The Ministry of Interior has issued a statement today "that there is no dispute and that the body can be claimed at any time".

0950 GMT: Israel and Palestine. A spokesperson for an Israeli prison has said that Palestinian Arafat Jaradat, has died in custory at the .Meggido detention centre in northern Israel.

Conflicting claims have immediately followed, with Palestinian officials saying the 30-year-old was killed during questioning and Israeli counterparts saying that Jaradat died from natural causes.

Issa Qaraqaa, the Palestinian minister in charge of prisoner affairs, said, "We demand the creation of an international commission of inquiry to probe the circumstances of his death," Qaraqaa added.

Sivan Eqizman, an Israel Prisons Service spokesperson, said, "I can confirm that a Palestinian prisoner died today in the Meggido prison. It was probably a cardiac arrest. I don't have additional details at the moment."

The Shin Bet internal intelligence service said that Jaradat had fallen ill on Saturday after eating lunch.

"Medics were called to treat him but they were unable to save his life," Shin Bet said in a statement, adding that Israeli police had opened an investigation into the circumstances.

Reports are circulation that about 3,000 Palestinian prisoners are taking part in a one day hunger strike to protest the death, with a “heavy Israeli police presence” outside the prison.

Jaradat was arrested on Monday after incidents near the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron in the West Bank. He was held on suspicion of throwing stones at an Israeli citizen amid protests in November over Israel's war in November.

News of his death comes a day after 94 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces during demonstrations in the West Bank to demand the release of four long-term hunger-strikers. Two protesters were reportedly shot by Israeli settlers at a demonstration against Israel's settlements in the West Bank.

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