Israel compensates family of dead Palestinian

JERUSALEM (HPD) — Israel’s Defense Ministry said Sunday it has reached an agreement to compensate the family of a Palestinian-American who died earlier this year after being detained by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

The deal is a rare case of compensation in a Palestinian claim against alleged wrongdoing by Israeli military forces.

In January, Israeli troops detained Omar Asaad, 78, at a checkpoint in the West Bank, tied his hands and blindfolded him. The soldiers then released his hands and left him face down in an abandoned building.

Asaad, who lived in the United States for four decades, was pronounced dead at a hospital after other Palestinians found him unresponsive. It is unknown when exactly he died.

On Sunday, the Defense Ministry said it had reached a settlement with Asaad’s family, who sued the state in an Israeli court.

The ministry said that “in light of the unique circumstances of the 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, the result of moral failure and poor decision-making by soldiers.” He said one officer was reprimanded and two other officers were reassigned to noncommand roles over the incident.

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