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Israel transfers body of slain Palestinian between Israeli hospitals

Sept. 4, 2017 1:25 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2017 10:23 P.M.)
Raed al-Salhi (File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities on Monday continued to hold the body of Raed al-Salhi, 22, a resident of the al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank, who succumbed to critical injuries in an Israeli hospital on Sunday, weeks after he was shot by Israeli forces during a violent detention raid in the camp.

Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe said in a statement Monday that al-Salhi’s body was transferred from the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem to the Rishon Lezion hospital in central Israel after he was pronounced dead on Sunday.

Al-Salhi was being held in the intensive care unit following a predawn military raid on Aug. 9, when Israeli forces shot him several times in his chest at close range, puncturing his liver and causing severe damage to his internal organs.

It remained unclear when al-Salhi’s body would be buried or when he would be handed over by Israeli authorities, who routinely detain the bodies of slain Palestinians for extended periods and impose strict restrictions on their funerals.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, Riyad al-Ashqar, said in a statement that Israeli authorities shot al-Salhi “without justification and with the intention of killing him.”

Al-Ashqar also accused Israel of medical negligence and not providing the young Palestinian with proper medical care.

Palestinian prisoners' solidarity network Samidoun reported that during the weeks following his detention, al-Salhi, held in the intensive care unit in a coma, was denied family visits and heavy guarded despite his unconsciousness and severe medical condition.

“All of the family’s attempts to obtain a permit to visit have failed. The occupation authorities are preventing all members of his family from visiting him to check on his health. The last attempt was several weeks ago by his mother, who suffers from several diseases herself and cannot sleep due to her worry,” Khaled al-Salhi, Raed’s brother, recently told al-Quds News.

Meanwhile, al-Salhi’s brother Bassam al-Salhi was detained during a raid into al-Duheisha refugee camp on Aug. 16.

The leftist faction the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) issued a statement Sunday, saying that “Palestine, Duheisha camp, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have lost a courageous struggler committed to liberation of the Palestinian people from Zionist occupation. This young man was committed in his veins with loyalty to the Palestinian cause and his people.”

According to Ma'an documentation, al-Salhi was the 55th Palestinian to be killed by an Israeli since the beginning of 2017. During the same time period, 13 Israelis -- almost all of whom were uniformed Israeli officers or settlers residing in Palestinian territory in violation of international law -- were killed by Palestinians.

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