WASHINGTON, Wednesday, February 02, 2022 (WAFA) – The US Tuesday called for a “thorough criminal investigation” into the death of an elderly Palestinian-American man last month.
Spokesperson for the US State Department, Ned Price, stated that the US expects a thorough criminal investigation and full accountability in the case of 80-year-old Omar Assad, a US citizen who was beaten to death by Israeli soldiers after they detained him in the West Bank last month.
“We continue to be deeply concerned by the circumstances of the death of Mr. Omar Assad, a U.S. citizen who was found dead on January 12, 2022, after Israeli soldiers detained him in the West Bank,” Price stated.
“The United States expects a thorough criminal investigation and full accountability in this case, and we welcome receiving additional information on these efforts as soon as possible,” he added while pointing that his country would continue to discuss this “troubling incident” with the Israeli government.
Asaad died of a heart attack after he was violently detained by Israeli soldiers during a raid on Jaljulia village, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
A Palestinian autopsy found Asaad, who had pre-existing heart conditions, had suffered sudden cardiac arrest caused by the stress of being manhandled.
It said that there was internal bleeding in his eyelids from being blindfolded tightly as well as other bruises on his arms and welts on his wrists from zip ties.
While the Israeli army said that it has opened a probe into the case, Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has condemned an Israeli army probe as containing "empty words".
Omar, who holds American citizenship, is a father of seven children who live in the United States. He moved to America in the 1970s, where he settled with his family. He returned to live in Palestine in 2012.
His death had also sparked calls for an investigation by members of Congress from Wisconsin, where Assad had previously lived for decades.