Palestinian Security Agents Held for Inquiry into American’s Death

Five Palestinians have been detained in connection with the death of a Palestinian American while he was in custody of Palestinian security officials.

Among the detainees were agents of Jibril Rajoub, the head of all Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, including the police and secret service.

Palestinian officials said the body of 52-year-old Azzam Musleh would be exhumed to determine the cause of his death.

Musleh was detained last month by Palestinian security officials on suspicion of leading a West Bank burglary ring, Israel Radio reported.

He was taken to the Jericho self-rule enclave, where he was questioned by interrogators under Rajoub’s command.

His body was returned 30 hours after his arrest to family members he had been visiting in the West Bank.

Witnesses who saw Musleh’s body said they saw signs of beatings on his face and body.

U.S. consulate officials have demanded an investigation of the incident.

In a related development, six Palestinian security agents have been sentenced to prison terms for using excessive violence while questioning a detainee.

It was unclear whether the detainee involved was Musleh.

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