US wants information from 'Israel' over death of Palestinian-American
The United States is calling on the Israeli occupation to give it more information about the death of an elderly Palestinian-American man killed in January.
The United States demanded the Israeli occupation to give it more information about the decision taken by the government not to prosecute Israeli soldiers over the killing of a Palestinian-American man, the State Department said Wednesday.
The Israeli occupation's military advocate general said Tuesday that the soldiers who left 78-year-old Omar Asaad outside overnight after detaining him and before he was found dead would not be criminally prosecuted and would instead face disciplinary measures.
"Since Mr. Asaad's tragic death, we have continued to discuss this troubling incident with the Israeli government," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on Wednesday.
"We're aware of the conclusion of the investigation, and we are at this time seeking more information from the Israeli government about it," he added.
In January, Asaad was detained in his hometown of Jiljilya in the occupied West Bank, after he was stopped by the Israeli occupation forces at a makeshift checkpoint in the area.
The IOF left him lying on his back at a construction site while he was unconscious before he was found dead in the early morning with a zip-tie around one wrist. The soldiers claim that they thought he was asleep as an explanation of why they left an unresponsive old man unattended to in such a manner.
In the wake of the initial probe, the Israeli occupation forces dismissed two officers and reprimanded the commander of a battalion after they deemed the death was due to "a moral failure and poor decision-making."
The decision was taken "following the hearings and after a thorough examination of the investigation materials, which indicated no causal link was found between the errors in the conduct of the soldiers and (Asaad's) death."
An autopsy carried out by Palestinian doctors found that Asaad suffered a cardiac arrest after experiencing stress, which Palestinian officials said the stress was caused by the way the Israeli occupation forces dealt with and handled him.
However, the Israeli authorities said a military medical official argued that it was impossible to determine that Asaad's death was caused by the way the soldiers conducted themselves, claiming they had no way of knowing about his medical condition.
The other narrative
The claims made by the Israeli occupation have been contradicted by other reports, however. It is circulated that five Israeli occupation soldiers deliberately arrested the elderly martyr on January 12 before beating him up severely.
Asaad’s vehicle was arbitrarily stopped. The elderly Palestinian man was blindfolded and taken to an abandoned house where he was severely beaten and assaulted before he was left lying on the ground in an under-construction building until he passed away.
The Israeli occupation claimed that the soldiers did not exercise excessive force against Asaad, despite dragging him in the cold, although he suffers from several diseases, and deliberately covering his face and mouth with a piece of cloth, which caused him to suffocate.
Asaad's body was discovered in Jiljilya in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with a black plastic zip-tie still brutally wrapped around one wrist.
The residents noticed someone lying lifeless on the ground, so they rushed toward him and took him to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for treatment. However, tragically, Asaad died before getting there.
Such inhumane crimes are being committed on a daily basis against Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF).
جانب من التنكيل الذي تعرض له الشهيد المسن عمر عبد المجيد أسعد من قرية جلجليا شمالي رام الله، أثناء احتجازه وتقييده من قبل قوات الاحتلال وتركه ملقى على الأرض حتى فارق الحياة. pic.twitter.com/15DbXPIdUx— قناة الأقصى الفضائية (@SerajSat) January 12, 2022
The Israeli prosecution has recommended closing the case despite the US demands for clarification over what happened, considering that Asaad was a US citizen.
The US State Department had stated, following the murder, that Omar Abdul Majeed Asaad was a US citizen and a former resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and that it had sought clarification from "Israel" over the incident.
"We support a thorough investigation into the circumstances," State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.
This case is reminiscent of the murder of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, wherein Israeli occupation Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the occupation would not allow anyone to investigate its soldiers regarding her murder.
"Nobody" will investigate Israeli soldiers, "preach morality on warfare, and certainly not Al Jazeera," Israeli media said citing Lapid.
Read next: UN: IOF fired shots that killed Abu Akleh
Abu Akleh was murdered in cold blood while covering an Israeli occupation invasion into Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
According to Palestinians and Abu Akleh's colleagues who were with her at the time, she was murdered by Israeli fire. The Palestinians refused to hand the bullet to "Israel" out of fear that the Israeli occupation would tamper with the bullet and hide the truth.
The Washington Post, after examining more than 60 videos, social media posts, and photos of the murder, conducted physical inspections of the area and also commissioned two independent acoustic analyses of the gunshots, concluded in a report that Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli soldier in the convoy that was near them.
The US is yet to act in either case.