Nassar Taqatqa, 31, has been found dead in his cell in Israel’s Nitzan prison only weeks after his arrest. He was being held in solitary confinement.
Initially arrested on June 19th after Israeli forces illegally raided his home in the village of Beit Fajjar in the West Bank, Nassar was still undergoing interrogations and was not charged with any crime at the time of his death.
After first being taken to the notorious Jalameh interrogation center, where there have been reports of psychological and physical torture from Israeli guards, Nassar was then taken to the Nitzan prison two weeks after his arrest.
Israel is claiming that Nassar died of a stroke, however his family insists he had no previous health concerns and was in good health before his arrest. They are reportedly still waiting on results from an autopsy.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry are now calling for an international inquiry into the death, and the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies are holding Israel responsible for the death, claiming it was a result of torture and medical negligence. Amina Al-Taweel, a researcher at the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, stated:
[His death] was a cold-blooded execution. The Nitzan detention center is known for its horrific conditions and cruel guards. During Taqatqa’s detention, he was not allowed access to his lawyer, family visits, or any communication with others.”
Since Nassar’s death, Israeli prisons have reportedly been in a state of high-alert, with Israel shutting down all jails holding Palestinian prisoners and preventing lawyers from visiting as well as cancelling court sessions and jail transfers until further notice.
According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society’s facebook page, prisoners are preparing for confrontations with Israeli prison guards, with instances of prisoners joining together to refuse meals in protest and banging on cell doors.
While small protests have been seen across Ramallah in the face of this recent atrocity, the family of Nassar continue to mourn, as Israel continues with impunity in its crimes against humanity.