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Family: 46-year-old Palestinian dies after assault by Israeli soldiers

Oct. 15, 2015 10:30 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 15, 2015 3:36 P.M.)
Seventy-year old Palestinian farmer Abbas Youssef points towards his olive trees in the village of al-Janiya west of Ramallah on Oct. 28, 2014. (AFP/Abbas Momani)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A 46-year-old Palestinian was pronounced dead Thursday morning following a heart attack that his family said came on after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

Israeli forces assaulted Riyad Ibrahim Dar Youssef from the al-Janiya village in western Ramallah as he was returning home from picking olives with his family.

The forces reportedly beat up Dar Youssef, leaving him with critical injuries. His family told the administration of the Palestine Medical Center that his condition had rapidly deteriorated after the assault.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that Israeli forces had stopped to search vehicles after rocks were thrown in the area but had no reports of assault.

In regards to Dar Yousseff's death, the spokesperson said that an investigation had been carried out that concluded that "claims regarding IDF involvement in the death were false."

The village of al-Janiya is surrounding by Israeli settlements, and like many Palestinians in the West Bank, the village's residents are frequently denied access by the Israeli army to their farmland.

Last year in al-Janiya, attacks by Israeli settlers who uprooted trees and burnt Palestinian farmland became daily occurrence during the annual olive harvest. Israeli soldiers prevented al-Janiya residents from reaching the olive groves because their land had been designated a "closed military zone."

AFP contributed to this report.
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