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Shin Bet Suspends Two Interrogators in Arab Beating Death Case

January 9, 1990

JERUSALEM (AP) _ The Shin Bet secret security service suspended two of its interrogators and police plan to ask for their indictment in the beating death of a Palestinian prisoner, Israel television said Monday.

Israel radio and the national Itim news agency said police this week will ask State Prosecutor Dorit Beinash to press criminal charges after an autopsy concluded the man died following a beating while in Shin Bet custody.

The head of the Shin Bet, who under regulations cannot be named, suspended the interrogators two weeks ago, Israel television reported.

Etti Eshed, a spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry, said the ministry has not received the police report.

A spokesman for the police ministry refused to confirm or deny the reports.

Also Monday, troops shot and killed two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as the army rounded up more than 100 Palestinians suspected of belonging to PL0-led ″strike forces,″ Arab reports said.

The reports said troops entered the village of Beit Rima northwest of the West Bank town of Ramallah to make arrests and opened fire after being attacked by stonethrowers, fatally wounding two Arabs.

The Palestinians were identified as Abdel Qader Ismail Barghouti, 11, and Ali Ata Nimrata, 22.

The deaths raise to 646 the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops or civilians in the 25-month-old uprising. Forty-three Israelis have also been slain.

The arrests were made in sweeps of Arab villages near Ramallah and the army said the detainees were members of Palestinian organizations recently uncovered in the area.

The strike forces carry out orders of the PLO-linked underground leadership of the Palestinian uprising.

The army said it sealed five homes overnight belonging to detained members of the strike forces. In Gaza City the military demolished the home of a Palestinian arrested for killing an Arab municipality worker.

Palestinian activists have killed 166 Palestinians, most on suspicion of cooperating with Israeli authorities, during the uprising against Israeli rule.

Israeli media said the police recommended the prosecutions of the Shin Bet interrogators after questioning several members of the service and reviewing an autopsy report by the chief Israeli pathologist and an American pathologist brought in by human rights groups.

Michael Baden, director of forensic sciences for the New York State Police, said 27-year-old Khalid Kamel Sheik Ali died last month of internal bleeding after a blow to the abdomen.

He said the injury could not have been accidental or self-inflicted.

Baden said at a news conference that Ali had been struck in the stomach with a ″broad, blunt object that would include a fist or a shoe.″

At the time of the autopsy, Ali had about one quart of blood in his abdominal cavity, and there was evidence of other, non-fatal blows to the back, legs, chest and testes.

The recommmendation to indict the Shin Bet interrogators comes in the wake of growing concern over the treatment of prisoners in Shin Bet custody.

The families of two other Palestinian prisoners who died in the custody of the secret security service have requested investigations. Police said one died of a severe ulcer attack and the other hanged himself.

Update hourly