Israeli police has closed its investigation into the death of Palestinian Minister, Ziad Abu Ein, who died in 2014 after being beaten by Israeli forces, concluding that he had died of natural causes, Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva reported on Wednesday.
According to Arutz Sheva, an autopsy by the police department of internal investigations concluded that Abu Ein, 55, died of a heart attack on December 10, 2014, after an Israeli border police officer beat him in the chest with his helmet and the butt of his rifle during a march to plant olive trees in the village of Turmusayya in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank.
Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din, which represents Abu Ein’s family in the case, expressed its outrage at the police’s decision to close the case without ever interrogating the border policeman suspected of killing Abu Ein or asking him to testify.
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“Most cases of Israeli violence against Palestinians are closed. But we expected that at least a proper investigation would take place,” Yesh Din spokesman Gilad Grossman told Ma’an on Wednesday. “This shows Israeli armed forces’ impunity when committing violence against Palestinian civilians.”
The internal investigations department reportedly justified the decision not to interrogate the policeman saying, “Since policemen are authorized to use force and it is expected of them in many cases to use it, Internal Investigations will not summon a policeman for investigation if there is not a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed,” Arutz Sheva quoted the department as saying.
Grossman said that Abu Ein’s family had already filed an appeal to the Israeli Ministry of Justice.
The Israeli police’s decision to close its investigation in the case comes days after Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a report revealing that nearly all investigations opened over the killings of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli police in the past ten months were closed “without the unit investigating and questioning the officers.”