Israel pays family of deceased US-Palestinian detainee
JERUSALEM — Israel’s Defense Ministry said Sunday it had reached a settlement to compensate the family of a Palestinian-American who died earlier this year after being detained by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank.
The settlement marks a rare case of compensation in a Palestinian claim against alleged wrongdoing by Israeli military forces and comes after US criticism of Israel.
In January, Israeli troops arrested Omar Asaad, 78, at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, binding his hands and blindfolding him. Israeli troops then untied his hands and left him face down in an abandoned building.
Asaad, who had lived in the United States for four decades, was pronounced dead in a hospital after other Palestinians who had been detained found him unconscious. It is not known exactly when he died.
On Sunday, the Defense Ministry said it had reached a settlement with Asaad’s family, who had filed a lawsuit against the state in an Israeli court.
The ministry said that “in light of the unique circumstances of this unfortunate event”, it agreed to pay the family 500,000 shekels, or about $141,000.
After an outcry from the US government, the Israeli military issued a rare statement earlier this year saying the incident “was a serious and unfortunate event, resulting from moral failure and poor decision-making on the part of soldiers”. He said one officer was reprimanded and two other officers were reassigned to non-commanding roles over the incident.