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80-year-old Palestinian man dies after being detained by Israeli military in West Bank

80-year-old Palestinian man dies after being detained by Israeli military in West Bank
An 80-year-old Palestinian man died after being detained by Israeli military forces in the West Bank on Wednesday. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- An 80-year-old Palestinian man died after being detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

The man, identified as Omar Abdalmajeed As'ad, still had a plastic restraining zip tie on one wrist when his body was found in a village outside of Ramallah, Palestinian officials said.

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As'ad was stopped by Israeli soldiers in the village of Jiljilya as he was making his way home after visiting relatives, the Palestinian health ministry said.

A resident who was walking around the neighborhood later found him unresponsive and a physician tried unsuccessfully to revive him. He was then taken to a Ramallah hospital where his body was being held until an autopsy can be performed.

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As'ad's brother told Haaretz that he suffered from respiration and heart problems.

"I don't understand how a man that age can be considered a danger," he said. "They handcuffed him and shoved him. That's abuse ... I have no doubt what he went through caused his death."

The Israeli military confirmed As'ad had been held by soldiers after resisting a security inspection but was alive when he was released. The Military Police Criminal Investigation Division is set to launch a formal investigation.

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"The IDF will investigate this event in a thorough and professional manner, acting in line with our values and protocols," Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said As'ad was "lynched by occupation soldiers" and the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it would file complaints to all international bodies, including the international court.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a news briefing Wednesday that the United States had asked for clarification from Israel regarding the death of As'ad, who was a U.S. citizen.

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"We support a thorough investigation into the circumstances," Price said.

This article has been updated to correct the fact that Abdalmajeed As'ad did not die in Israeli military custody.

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