The mysterious death of a Palestinian gas station attendant in Israeli custody stoked new West Bank clashes yesterday, along with Israeli fears of a third Palestinian uprising. A senior Palestinian official alleged that Arafat Jaradat, 30, was tortured by Israel's Shin Bet security service, citing an autopsy he said revealed bruising and two broken ribs. Israel's Health Ministry said the autopsy did not conclusively determine the cause of death, but that the bruising and broken ribs were likely the result of attempts to revive the detainee.
Jaradat's death came at a time of rising West Bank tensions, including several days of Palestinian marches in support of four hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli lockups. Over the weekend, Israel's army chief convened senior commanders to discuss the growing unrest. Jaradat's death "is liable to become the opening shot" in a third uprising, Israeli military commentator Alex Fishman wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily, arguing that the "Palestinian street has been boiling with anger for a number of weeks now."