The Israeli Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday that they will close the investigation into the killing of an 80-year old US citizen in the West Bank in January 2022, with no consequences for the Israeli soldiers responsible.
In the early hours of January 12, 2022, Omar Abdel-Majid Asaad, an 80-year old Palestinian-American, was pulled out of his car by a group of Israeli soldiers, handcuffed, beaten, dragged along the ground and shoved into a cold, dark room where he was left lying on the floor for several hours. There, he suffered a heart attack and died. The soldiers returned, found him dead, and left his body, driving away without notifying anyone. Hours later, his body was found by local Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority condemned the Israeli prosecution’s decision to close the investigation into the death of Omar Abdel-Majid Asaad, from the village of Jaljilia, north of Ramallah. The Palestinian Authority said the Israeli military was engaging in the crime of covering up a killing, and called on the US government to launch their own investigation into the killing of a US citizen.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying that the failure of the Israeli government to file charges against the soldiers “is an extension of an official Israeli policy followed by the Israeli prosecution, courts, and investigative committees formed by the occupying Israeli state to mislead other countries, the international community, and global public opinion to give the impression that there are Israeli investigations into the ongoing crimes committed by the Israeli occupation army, which often end with the acquittal of the perpetrators, the concealment of evidence, and the provision of escape hatches for political and military officials who are responsible for giving the orders for the killing of Palestinians.”
The statement continued, “This case proves once again that the so-called judiciary system, prosecution and courts in Israel are an integral part of the military occupation system, bearing in mind that the majority of crimes are ignored and no investigations are conducted at all.”
The Ministry called on the US administration to investigate this crime, given that Asaad was an American citizen, stressing that the State of Palestine is fully prepared to cooperate with any American investigations to identify the killers and hold them accountable.
It also called on the International Criminal Court to speed up its investigations into the crimes of the Israeli occupation in order to hold accountable and prosecute Israeli war criminals and those behind them.
The family of Omar Asaad filed a lawsuit in October, demanding the prosecution of those responsible for Asaad’s killing.
Israeli authorities responded by offering a payout of 100.000 Shekels (About $140.000) if the family agreed to drop the lawsuit.
The family refused the settlement, saying they would not drop their lawsuit to prosecute those responsible for his death.
Omar As’ad’s brother Nawwaf Al-As’ad, who resides in Chicago, stated at that time, “We are ongoing with our legal measures against Israel, against those responsible for his death. We will never drop the lawsuit for any reason; no amount of money will compensate his loss. His wife, children, and grandchildren miss him greatly and will not accept compensation without justice.”