NEW YORK, Feb. 4 (JTA) — A senior Palestinian official
acknowledged this week that a Palestinian detainee was tortured before
he died in a Nablus hospital. Freih Abu Medein, Palestinian justice minister, reportedly said Monday that Yusouf Ismail Al-Baba, 32, a real estate agent who had been accused of fraud, was tortured while being interrogated in the Palestinian-ruled enclave. The Palestinian Authority continues to investigate Al-Baba’s death. In its annual report on human rights conditions around the world, the U.S. State Department noted that the Palestinian Authority used “excessive force” against detainees, resulting in four deaths in 1996. Five such deaths were reported in the previous year.