The Middle East in your inbox
Palestinian-American died of heart attack after Israeli detention, autopsy finds
A Palestinian autopsy found that Omar Abdalmajeed As'ad died from a “stress-induced sudden cardiac arrest due to external violence.”
Al-Monitor Staff
January 26, 2022
An elderly Palestinian-American man who died after being detained in an Israeli raid on the outskirts of Ramallah this month suffered from a stress-induced cardiac arrest likely caused by being bound and gagged by soldiers, according to the findings of a Palestinian autopsy. 
Omar Abdalmajeed As'ad, 78, was found dead on Jan. 12 by residents of Jiljilya, a village in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. A plastic zip tie remained on his wrist. A local official told Reuters that “Israeli soldiers stopped his car, bound him [and] blindfolded him,” and led him to a construction site. 
A nearby physician, Islam Abu Zaher, told The Washington Post that As’ad’s face was blue by the time he reached him minutes after the soldiers left the scene. He added that As’ad was likely without oxygen for 15-20 minutes. 
The postmortem released by the Palestinian Ministry of Justice said As’ad’s cause of death was “stress-induced sudden cardiac arrest due to external violence.” The autopsy reported internal bleeding in his eyelids, bruises on his head and red marks on his wrists. 
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said As’ad was detained “after resisting a security inspection” by soldiers who were carrying out an overnight raid on the village. The IDF said As’ad was alive when he was released. 
The IDF announced that military police were conducting an investigation into As’ad’s death. It did not comment on the Palestinian autopsy. 
As'ad lived in the United States for decades and operated a grocery store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2010, he and his wife moved back to the Palestinian village where he was raised. 
The Biden administration has called for Israel to conduct a “thorough investigation into the circumstances." On Monday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the United States has not seen a final report from Israel and remains “deeply concerned” by media reports detailing As’ad’s death.
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Palestine Briefing
Top Palestine stories in your inbox each week
Breaking News
Iraq trial of Briton and German for antiquity theft adjourned
Agence France-Presse | AFP | May 22, 2022
Rich Lebanese buy 'island passports' as crisis bites
by Aya Iskandarani | AFP | May 22, 2022
For Iraqis back from Syria, life on hold in 'rehabilitation' camp
by Laure Al Khoury | AFP | May 22, 2022
See more
Kurdish researcher Giran Ozcan: Understanding the Kurdish people and their aspirations will benefit US’ own interests
00:00 / 28:11
Strategic adviser Yarden Vatikay: Israel now smarter at reacting to PR crises 
00:00 / 45:25
Sinjar now a strategic dispute for Iraq involving regional parties, says Mirza Dinnayi
00:00 / 26:08
See more
Lebanese elections in one word: خرق‎
Ancient gate to iconic Hagia Sophia vandalized
Arabian horses in northwest Syria at risk of being forgotten
See more
Follow Al-Monitor
Visitor Agreements
Privacy Policy
Submissions and Discussions Policy
Search our Archives
Support and Contact Info
ABOUT US is a trusted and award-winning independent source of Middle East news and analysis, founded in 2012.
Our History
© 2021 Al-Monitor, LLC. All rights reserved.