Israeli Court Rules Shin Bet Must Report on Death of Arab

The High Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that within two weeks, the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service, must hand over a detailed report on the circumstances surrounding the death of Awad Hamdan to the deceased’s family.

Hamdan was arrested in July by Shin Bet investigators, on suspicion that he had joined Al Fatah, the military arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization, while studying in Jordan.

He died in Jenin prison two days after his arrest, while the circumstances surrounding his death remained unclear.

His relatives said they discerned signs of violence on the body, and demanded the autopsy report and death certificate. They also asked to be informed of the reason for the youth’s death.

After the attorney general and the Shin Bet refused to comply with the request, Hamdan’s family appealed to the high court.

In the course of the deliberations, Attorney General Yosef Harish decided to place one of Hamdan’s Shin Bet interrogators on trial on charges of negligent manslaughter.

Yediot Aharonot noted Thursday that Wednesday’s high court decision constitutes the first time in years that an appeal by Arabs from the territories has been accepted.

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