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IDF confirms death of Palestinian man during arrest, denies claims he was beaten

Israeli forces, seen here during a drill on August 13, 2018, regularly stage overnight raids to arrest Palestinians in the West Bank
MENAHEM KAHANA (AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the death of a Palestinian man arrested during a pre-dawn raid in the West Bank on Tuesday, with his family accusing soldiers of beating him.

The army confirmed the death of Mohammed Khatib, 24, while in custody but said he had not resisted arrest and had not been physically assaulted.

"The army apprehended a Palestinian suspected of hostile activities in Beit Rima during the night," an army spokeswoman told AFP, referring to a village north of Ramallah in the West Bank.

"He was arrested without violence or resistance from his part. He lost consciousness and was treated by Israeli soldiers at the scene."

He died later in hospital, she added.

The military did not provide further details on the reasons for his arrest.

Khatib's brother Bashir told AFP by phone that the army had raided the house in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

"They entered Mohammed's room while he was sleeping, and they beat him violently and we heard screaming," he said.

"After a while he went silent, and a soldier carried him out on his back."

The Palestinian Prisoners Club also said family members had accused the army of beating Khatib.

It said it held Israel responsible for his death.

The army said in a statement Tuesday morning that 11 Palestinians had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in “popular terror and violent disturbances against civilians and soldiers” in early morning raids across the West Bank.

Israeli soldiers regularly carry out nightly raids across the West Bank, routinely detaining suspects wanted for low-level terror attacks, illegal weapons possession, and other security related offenses.

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