Autopsy report for Arafat Jaradat [who died in Israeli detention]: No sign of heart attack, more tests ordered

Israel’s Ministry of Health issued an interim finding in the autopsy of Arafat Jaradat [see our earlier post] — this time, after examination of microscopy and toxicology findings.

The microscopy results apparently showed no sign of heart attack.   Therefore, the Israeli statement said, further tests will be conducted.

According to the Israeli statement, the only injuries appeared to be related to [“were consistent with“] a 50-minute attempt to resuscitate Jaradat, who had been undergoing days of harsh interrogation in Israeli custody.

The heart attack hypothesis was first announced by the Israeli Prison Services spokesperson Sivan Weizman, who was responding to inquiries from the media, just after Jaradat’s death was announced.

The Israel Prison Services said their staff began resuscitation efforts, then called in the MDA [Magen David Adom, or Red Star of David] to help try to resuscitate Jaradat.

From the Israeli Health Services statement today, we learn that resuscitation efforts went on for 50 minutes.  This is long, but not unusual in the case of a person in his early 30s, according to one American doctor in Jerusalem.

The full statement of the Israeli Health Ministry, sent around by the Israeli Government Press Office [GPO,  part of the Prime Minister’s Office] says:
“National Center for Forensic Medicine Director Prof. Yehuda Hiss, Health Ministry Medical Administration Director Prof. Arnon Afek, and Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Pathology Institute Director Prof. Iris Barshack, today (Thursday, 28 February 2013), examined the microscopy findings for Arafat Jaradat.
It was found that the hemorrhages and fractured ribs found during the autopsy occurred close to death and are characteristic of the resuscitation attempts that were performed on the deceased by Prison Service and MDA medical staff for 50 minutes in an effort to save his life.  No signs of other contusions were found. The toxicology tests were also negative.
There were no signs of significant change due to illness in other organs that could indicate cause of death; therefore, further tests to determine the cause will be performed”.

Continue reading Autopsy report for Arafat Jaradat [who died in Israeli detention]: No sign of heart attack, more tests ordered

Something about this story is very troubling – the quick assumptions, the quick-trigger response

Notification was sent out to journalists on Friday that there would be a press conference in the afternoon, given by the family of 20-year-old Iyad Azmi Uweisat, shot dead on Tuesday by Israeli Border Police who said he had attacked them with his car at a temporary checkpoint in the south-east Jerusalem village of Sur Bahir — as other units were demolishing the nearby home of another dead Palestinian man who was also shot after he allegedly going on a rampage with the bulldozer he was operating in West Jerusalem in early July 2008.

The family house is just meters (a few yards) away from a fence (there, it is a fence, and not a Wall) that separates the West Bank from “greater municipal Jerusalem” as defined unilaterally by Israel following its victory in the June 1967 war. There is a “Pillbox” concrete tower manned by Israeli soldiers as the road turns just below the house. And there is a caged-in check-point just beside the house, where soldiers check the Israeli ID cards of residents of the houses that are just steps away, but in the West Bank.

Four of the young Palestinian men who were accused — and killed on the spot — of carrying out five separate attacks on Israelis over the last year are from this area of southern East Jerusalem. (The last attack was attributed to a Palestinian resident of Beit Hanina, in northern East Jerusalem.)

A mourning tent was set up at the entrance to the Uweisat family house, and a big video camera on a tripod was set up on a balcony just next to the house.

Azmi Uweisat, the father of the dead 20 year old Iyad, was visibly distressed and grieving. He sat at the improvised podium surrounded by six other men offering their support as he took a microphone linked to the camera. A neighbor who was acting as moderator said that his son’s body had still not been returned for burial. Azmi Uweisat then said that his son had died “for no reason”, “for no reason”. He broke down, and could not speak further.
Continue reading Something about this story is very troubling – the quick assumptions, the quick-trigger response