+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Conflicting reports on death of Palestinian found hanged

It is still unclear whether Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni took his own life or had it taken from him. What is clear is that Palestinians have every reason to doubt the police’s credibility.

The minute news came out late Sunday night that a Palestinian man was found hanged at an Egged bus depot in Jerusalem, Twitter was awash with speculations as to whether it was suicide or murder. Israel Police quickly issued a statement that it did not suspect foul play. “According to an initial investigation, it appears there is no suspicion of criminal activity, in other words a suicide,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told the press.

But photos of the body of Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, 32, began circulating on Twitter showing bruises on his body indicating he was attacked before being hanged. The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency (Arabic) reported witnesses who claim six Israeli settlers attacked al-Ramouni, who worked as an Egged bus driver. Many Palestinians, including his family, insist this was not suicide but rather a lynch by Jews.

By around 5 p.m. on Monday, Israeli news sites reported that the autopsy – which was conducted at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, and included the participation of a Palestinian pathologist selected by al-Ramouni’s family – was completed and affirmed that there was no murder. Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld tweeted assuredly that “findings are-incident not criminal related whatsoever.”

However, a Palestinian medical expert told Ma’an that the findings of the autopsy indicate that al-Ramouni did not die by suicide, but was in fact the victim of an “organized crime,” since, for example, “there was no dislocation in the first cervical vertebrae, which is usually found in cases of suicide by hanging.” The Palestinian new site Arabs 48 also reported these findings in more detail. The medical expert told Ma’an that more lab work was necessary to reach conclusive findings, which could take several months.

While we cannot yet confirm what exactly the circumstances of al-Ramouni’s death were, one cannot help but think of Israeli reactions to Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s brutal murder by immolation in July by Jewish extremists: rumors immediately circulated that he was killed by fellow Palestinians for being gay. Because the police had put a strict gag order on the case, the rumors were not immediately denied until suspects were found and it became clear that he was murdered for being Palestinian.

It is also important to note that Palestinian bus drivers who work for Egged have been assaulted several times in the past. According to a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem I spoke to, several incidents took place during the Gaza War which were not reported on at all. Therefore when Palestinians heard al-Ramouni was found hanged at the bus terminal, it was not at all far-fetched for them to assume he was attacked by Jews. On Monday evening, Arab drivers for the Egged bus company in Jerusalem walked off the job in protest.

Furthermore, past experience proves there is no reason for Palestinians to trust the Israeli authorities. Quite the contrary. Both the police and the military often ignore complaints from Palestinians, and almost always fail to prosecute. According to Yesh Din, 92 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians in the West Bank against Israeli civilians are closed without indictment.

Most recently, police lied about the circumstances of the shooting of Palestinian citizen Khir Hamdan in Kafr Kanna, providing several versions of events until video footage proved he did not pose a threat when he was shot and no warning shots were fired.

Related:
Investigation of Abu Khdeir murder tainted by racism
Border cop arrested for Nakba Day killing, debunking IDF tales

Newsletter banner 6 -540

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. “Furthermore, past experience proves there is no reason for Palestinians to trust the Israeli authorities. Quite the contrary. Both the police and the military often ignore complaints from Palestinians, and almost always fail to prosecute. According to Yesh Din, 92 percent of complaints filed by West Bank Palestinians with Israeli authorities are closed without indictment.”

      That’s a bit of an understatement. Living between a rock and a hard place. It’s heartbreaking.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Josh

      Brain- and empathyless fascist Ginger “They sell very strong, yet extremely cheap ropes in the supermarkets. Buy one and go hang your useless self!” Eis will sure tell us immediately that she loves hanged Arabs a lot.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Joel

      Is the Palestinian pathologist hired by the bus driver’s family stupid or corrupt?

      Maybe 972Mag should investigate him as well.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gearoid

        Two separate medical experts who examined the body say the Israel Police are lying.

        Given the known tendency of the police to lie, perhaps this isn’t a settled issue. They didn’t say he was attacked, they said there are signs of violence on his body. Maybe if the police actually did an investigation, rather than ignoring violence by Jews against Palestinians, they could determine the truth!

        But we all know they won’t do a competent one unless forced into it.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Two experts examined the body but presented zero evidence. Takiyya much.

          Reply to Comment
    4. Joel

      Maybe Mairav should interview the Palestinian eyewitnesses who allegedly witnessed the murder.

      That would be the scoop of a lifetime.
      Go for it Mairav!

      Reply to Comment
    5. Victor Arajs

      Instead of useless debate, the readership of 972 needs to raise funds for the cousins who heroically attacked a citadel of zionism this morning. The IDF gestapo extrajudicially assassinated them before they could tell about their struggle

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        @Victor

        Sounds like a plan.
        What’s your address so I can mail you a check?

        Reply to Comment
    6. Pedro X

      The pictures of the deceased bus driver do not show signs of violence which one would expect to see in a struggle. One would expect to see obvious and substantial bruising on the arms from being held against his will. One would also expect to find evidence of a struggle, ie dna evidence under the fingernails of the deceased. One would look to see other significant injuries that could have incapacitated the deceased before he was hung, such as a blow to the head with a blunt object.

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        This is not conclusive. Three assailants could hang a person with “no violence”: two grabbing him by hands, the third applying the noose. The person would not be even able to shout. If it is done quickly, surprising the victim, the victim may hang before putting much of resistance.

        The credibility of police would be higher without having record of racist actions like massive spraying of school children with skunk water.

        Reply to Comment
    7. What pictures? One would expect this, one would expect that, etc. This one would also suspect you back up your statements with some facts besides the ones you pull out of your hat.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        nsttnocontentcomment

        Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Let us try this again. Here is a picture of the body form Maan News.

        http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=740450

        There are no obvious signs of a violent crime having been committed. It was a tragic suicide.

        Reply to Comment
        • NIck

          This picture tells you nothing. First of all, the wrists are not visible and that is what would be restrained first. Secondly, how do you know the photo wasn’t doctored ( you can do wonders with Photoshop ).
          What is needed ( or was needed ) is an independent autopsy but I suspect given the potential for violence in the aftermath, the police simply wanted this to go away.

          Reply to Comment
    8. Avdim

      I’ll start by saying that I don’t know what happened.

      But there are no conflicting reports. You have Ma’an. I wouldn’t even call them a source. Maybe a source of propaganda. To remind everyone – Maan twice published a story about settlers using wild boars against Arab farmers.

      http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=494183

      http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=630514

      Even they published the opinion of someone anonymous. The second source seems a bit better on first glance, but who is this doctor? How does he know what the report says? Was the report even published?

      Anyway, we don’t know what happened, but to claim as if you have “conflicting reports” is an extreme exaggeration.

      If you’ll look again at Maan, they now have some official who is certain that the driver was murdered and the murder “is brutal crime which shows the criminal mentality that dominates the Israeli society.”. They also cite themselves.

      Your article is on the same level, nothing but propaganda.

      Reply to Comment
    9. I think it’s safe enough to say a picture is not enough to make a determination.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        But please. Don’t think. The process of thinking is way beyond your scope of abilities and must be extremely painful to you.

        Ontopic: Whoever claimed that the poor bus driver was murdered certainly had a chance actually back their claims with some images. Since it was not done it is safe to assume that claim that the bus driver was murdered are nothing but racist lies and blood libel.

        Reply to Comment
        • Piotr Berman

          “The process of thinking […] must be painful to you”.

          Truly profound statement, I see genuine personal experience here.

          Reply to Comment
    10. Love you too.
      Anyhow, there apparently is still doubt whether this was indeed a suicide. Considering the events over the recent months it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Would you trust the findings of a team of Palestinian medical examiners if this bus driver had been Jewish? Just askin’…..

      Reply to Comment
    11. I don’t know why my post wasn’t posted so I’ll try again.

      The folks here adamant that this was a suicide and not a murder consider the following please.
      The last many months have been incredibly violent with much loss of life, limb and property of Palestinians. The GOI has no credibility in the eyes of most Palestinians. Why should they believe these results? There is no good faith between the two sides. If that’s not good enough, imagine the bus driver was Jewish, found hanging in his bus. The Palestinian medical examiners determined cause of death to be suicide. One Jewish doctor disagreed and said it was murder. Now how many of you would believe the Palestinian MEs?

      Reply to Comment
    12. Click here to load previous comments