RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — An 18-year-old Palestinian died early Sunday after being chased by Israeli troops in the West Bank, but the circumstances of his death remain in dispute.
Relatives of Amer Snobar said that Israeli troops had beaten him to death, while the Israeli army said the man fell and hit his head while troops were chasing him.
The army said it tried to arrest Snobar after receiving reports that Palestinians were throwing stones at vehicles on a West Bank highway near a village north of Ramallah. When troops arrived, the army said Snobar and a second suspect tried to flee.
It said Snobar tripped and injured himself, while the second suspect got away. It said troops did not beat him and they unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate him.
Snobar’s relatives said they believe he was killed by the troops after they spoke to a witness at the scene. However, they declined to identify the witness or allow the witness to speak to The Associated Press, fearing the witness would be arrested.
Snobar’s body was taken to Ramallah Hospital, where doctors performed an autopsy.
The hospital’s director, Dr. Ahmed Bitawi, said there were signs of trauma to Snobar’s back and head, but also signs on his chest of the resuscitation efforts.
“The family told us he was beaten but as doctors we need to figure it out through forensics,” he said.
Dr. Rayyan al-Ali, who conducted the autopsy on Sunday, said it could take a week to figure out the cause of death.