UN envoy demands probe into young Palestinian's death
Palestinians carry the body of 18-year-old Amer Abdel-Rahim Sanouber during his funeral in the village of Yatma in the occupied West Bank.–AFP
UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov on Monday demanded an "independent investigation" after a Palestinian youth died following a weekend confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.
Amer Abdel-Rahim Sanouber was pronounced dead on Sunday morning in a Ramallah hospital after being "beaten" around the neck, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The Israeli army acknowledged that the teenager had been involved in an incident with soldiers but denied they beat him.
It said soldiers had been sent on Saturday night to Turmus Ayya, a village north of Ramallah, after receiving reports that people were hurling stones at an Israeli vehicle. A Palestinian youth who said he witnessed the incident alleged Sanouber had been beaten. "They beat him for five minutes. He was shouting incessantly, then his voice stopped suddenly," he told a local television station.
In a speech to the UN Security Council, Mladenov called for an independent probe. "There are conflicting claims about the circumstances and cause of death," the UN envoy said. "I urge a prompt and independent investigation into the events that led to the death of the boy." On Twitter, the British consulate in Jerusalem urged Israel "to investigate the allegations surrounding his death".
Details of altercations involving Palestinians and Israel's army in the West Bank have been harder to establish since the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority ended security coordination with Israel in May. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said the decision was made in response to Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank. Israel put its annexation plans on hold in return for the establishment of full diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates.