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Palestinian driver found hanged inside Israeli bus

Nov. 17, 2014 10:06 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 18, 2014 10:07 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian bus driver was found hanged to death at a terminal northwest of Jerusalem late Sunday.

Yousuf Hasan al-Ramouni, 32, from al-Tur in East Jerusalem was a driver with Israeli company Egged. He was found hanged inside his bus at the Har Hotzvim terminal near Jerusalem.

Witnesses told Ma'an that other drivers saw al-Ramouni's bus parked in the bus terminal during his working hours. A driver checked inside the bus and found al-Ramouni's body hanging from a steel bar in the middle of the bus.

His colleagues cut the body down and he was taken to Hadassah hospital. Medics at the bus station tried to resuscitate him but he was later pronounced dead.

"According to an initial investigation, it appears there is no suspicion of criminal activity, in other words a suicide," Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement, which said there were "no signs of violence on the body."

But fellow bus driver Muatasem Fakeh said he had seen evidence to the contrary.

"We saw signs of violence on his body," he told AFP.

"He was hanged over the steps at the back of the bus in a place where it would be impossible to hang yourself alone," he added.

The victim's brother, Osama al-Ramouni said the family did not accept the verdict of suicide, saying his body "had bruises on it," suggesting he had been "tortured" before his death.

"My brother had children and was a happy man. It is impossible that he killed himself," he told AFP.

"He had no problems that would make him do it," he said, adding that a post-mortem would "reveal everything."

"We reject the suicide theory. We all know it was settlers who killed him," he said.

Several of al-Ramouni's colleagues went on strike Monday in protest at his death.

An autopsy will be carried out later Monday. Al-Ramouni left behind a widow and two children.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out in the al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem and Abu Dis following news of his death.

AFP contributed to this report
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