Sun 23 Jun 2024 2:57 pm - Jerusalem Time

The family of doctor Iyad Al-Rantisi demands an investigation into the circumstances of his death in Israeli prisons

On June 19, a Hebrew newspaper announced the death of doctor Iyad Al-Rantisi, a week after his arrest in Gaza on November 10.

His wife told Anatolia: We were shocked by the news of his martyrdom and we are surprised by the Israeli concealment of this for 7 months.

His sister told Anadolu: We demand an immediate and urgent investigation into the circumstances of his detention and the causes of his death

The Israeli authorities’ concealment of the death of Gazan doctor Iyad Al-Rantisi for more than 7 months raises doubts among his family, prompting them to demand an investigation into the real causes of their son’s death, especially since he was not suffering from any health problems.

Al-Rantisi was arrested on November 10, at an Israeli army checkpoint, while he was fleeing with his family from the northern Gaza Strip to the southern areas. His family lost any news of his fate until June 19.

On that date, the private Hebrew newspaper "Haaretz" revealed that Dr. Al-Rantisi, who was director of a women's hospital in the city of Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip, died in an investigation center affiliated with the Internal Security Agency "Shin Bet" in the city of Ashkelon in southern Israel, a week after his arrest.

**Details of the day of arrest

Randa, the wife of Doctor Rantisi, told Anadolu correspondent that her husband was arrested last November 10 by an Israeli army force stationed at a military checkpoint in the Netzarim axis, which separates northern and southern Gaza, and Tel Aviv claimed at the time that it was a safe passage.

The grieving wife, narrating the details of this difficult day for her family, adds: “On that date, we headed to the alleged safe corridor for displacement to the southern regions, based on army orders for those in the northern Gaza Strip.”

She continued: “My husband was at the time working at the Friends of the Patient Hospital in Gaza City performing surgery on a woman, and when he finished it, he accompanied the family (the wife, his three children, his mother, and his sister) on the displacement trip, and he did not have time to change into his work clothes (the green doctors’ uniform).” "It contained stains of the blood of the wounded."

She continues: “While the family was passing among other numbers of displaced people through the military checkpoint in the Netzarim axis, located on Salah al-Din Street east of Gaza City, the Israeli army ordered the displaced people to look forward and not turn around, before ordering them to stop walking, and to begin the process of photographing them and checking their identities.” ".

She continued: "Suddenly, the soldiers ordered Doctor Rantissi to go to the military point at the checkpoint, and when he arrived there, they forced him to sit on his knees, while everyone received orders to resume walking again."

She points out that after they crossed the checkpoint, they heard sounds of Israeli army gunfire targeting displaced people, while ambulances rushed to the place and transported many of the martyrs and wounded to the “Aqsa Martyrs” Hospital, east of the city of Deir al-Balah, in the middle of the Gaza Strip.

She said: “Then we felt fear and anxiety,” noting that the family began inquiring about Rantisi’s fate and what had happened to him by asking displaced people who fled the place quickly for fear of being targeted by the army. Some expected that he would be released, while others said that he had been arrested.

Randa is surprised by the Israeli army's policy of arresting doctors and medical personnel who provide humanitarian services to the civilian population and have no connection to military work. She deplores the failure to provide the family with any information from the time her husband was arrested until the Hebrew media announced his death.

** Israeli concealment of the death

The wife expresses the family's shock at the death of Dr. Rantissi, who was in good health, one week after his arrest, and the Israeli concealment of this news for 7 months.

She points out that the suffering of the loss of her husband began with the family from the first moment they arrived in the city of Rafah in the far south of the Gaza Strip, where the family continued to search every day for a glimmer of hope about his fate.

In this regard, the family contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross in an attempt to find out the fate of their son, the doctor, but they did not receive any information in particular, and remained waiting anxiously.

Randa is surprised by the news that her husband died of a chest attack, and confirms that the 53-year-old Rantisi “did not suffer from any diseases, but rather was a helpful giver to people and loved by everyone.”

She denounced: “What is the sin committed by Al-Rantisi and the medical personnel who were arrested from hospitals and medical centers in Gaza?! What is the sin of these medical personnel who provide humanitarian service to civilians?!”, demanding that Israel hand over her husband’s body to the family.

** Forced disappearance for 7 months

For her part, Hana, the sister of doctor Iyad Al-Rantisi and the sister of prisoner Suhail Al-Rantisi, says: “The family lost my brother, doctor Iyad, and we do not want to lose my brother Suhail, who is subjected to very bad detention conditions.”

She added to Anadolu's correspondent: "Since the arrest of my brother, Iyad Al-Rantisi, until the announcement of his death during his interrogation in Ashkelon prison, we have not received any information about him."

She continues: "We were trying to find out any information about him through the liberated prisoners, but the information was either incorrect or inaccurate."

Hanaa demands an immediate and urgent investigation into the circumstances of the detention of her brother, the doctor, and the causes of his death, especially since he was in good health at the time of his arrest, and did not suffer from any diseases or health problems. She is surprised that he died a week after his arrest and that it was not announced or the family was informed.

It also demands that his body be handed over to the family so that they can bury him according to Islamic law, and so that his family, relatives, family and colleagues can bid him farewell and be buried in the Gaza Strip.

Hanaa denounced: “The doctor is a human being in the beginning, so how could he be arrested, tortured, and tried, and what crime did he commit to be killed in cold blood?!”, calling on human rights institutions, World Health Organizations, Doctors Without Borders International, and “Doctors Around the World” to intervene urgently to pay Towards bringing Israel to trial and holding it accountable for the crimes it commits.

Since October 7, 2023, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza with absolute American support, leaving more than 123,000 Palestinians dead and wounded, in addition to thousands missing.

Israel continues its war despite two UN Security Council resolutions to stop it immediately, and orders from the International Court of Justice to end the invasion of the city of Rafah, and to take measures to prevent acts of “genocide” from occurring, and to improve the miserable humanitarian situation in Gaza.


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The family of doctor Iyad Al-Rantisi demands an investigation into the circumstances of his death in Israeli prisons