We interrupt our Purim fake news to bring you this real report:
Only a smattering of Arabs, adding up to a few hundreds, showed up to rallies in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority on Sunday, to protest the death of an Arab prisoner in Israel’s GSS custody. Despite intense urging by leaders in both areas, local Arabs appear to have lost their appetite for intifada-scale riots. It is also possible that they doubted the accusations against Israel for, essentially, executing an Arab prisoner caught earlier for throwing stones at Hebron Jews.
According to official Israeli sources, Arafat Jadarat, 30, died in Israeli custody on Saturday, from a cardiac arrest.
Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainees Issa Qaraqe told a press conference Sunday that mass popular protests are in direct response to what “the Israeli occupation is doing to us.”
“If President Obama wants to visit the area quietly, he has to pressure Israel to release prisoners, especially hunger strikers,” he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a message to the PA through his envoy, attorney Itzhak Molcho, to halt all popular protests and calm the situation.
Netanyahu also ordered the release of January tax revenues to the PA, which Israel has withheld since November as punishment for the PLO’s unilateral appeal to the UN to accept of Palestine as a non-member state.
PLO official Nabil Shaath said in a statement that the Palestinian leadership does not want a third intifada, but “what Israel is doing will drag the region into a bloody cycle of violence.”
Qaraqe said Jadarat died after being interrogated by Israeli forces and demanded an international investigation into his death, which has caused outrage in the PA and Gaza.
Israeli forces and protestors clashed in Hebron, Beit Ummar, al-Arrub refugee camp, and Tulkarem, with soldiers firing tear gas and sounds grenades at demonstrators, Ma’an reported.
Palestinian factions in Gaza launched solidarity marches to condemn Jadarat’s death, Ma’an’s correspondent said.
An IDF spokeswoman said that “hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks and burned tires in Hebron, and security personnel responded with riot dispersal means.”
One man was injured by rubber bullets and an Israeli soldier was injured after being hit by a rock, military sources said.
In Beit Ummar between 100-300 people threw stones at Israeli forces and in Beituniya around 50 people gathered, the spokeswoman added.
In el-Arrub, one man was lightly injured after Israeli forces used live fire, Israeli military sources said.
Some 4,000 Palestinian prisoners refused their lunches on Sunday in protest of the prisoner’s death.