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Autopsy casts doubt over first Israeli version of how Palestinian prisoner died

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Arafat jaradat funeralOn the evening of Feb. 18, Israeli authorities arrested Arafat Jaradat, 30, on suspicion that he had thrown stones at Israeli soldiers. Five days later, he was dead. Now his story has come to symbolize what many Palestinians and human rights groups say are the torturous interrogation methods used by Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet.

A spokeswoman for Israel Prison Services, Sivan Weizman, originally said that Jaradat had died in Meggido Prison of a heart attack. But a different picture emerged when Israel’s Ministry of Health released a statement describing what doctors found during their autopsy.

“Two internal hemorrhages were detected, one on the shoulder and one on the right side of the chest,” the statement said. “Two ribs were broken, which may indicate resuscitation attempts. The initial findings cannot determine the cause of death.”

A Palestinian doctor who was involved in the autopsy told McClatchy that Jaradat’s body had “clear signs of torture.”

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