RAMALLAH, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs Eissa Qaraqe' said on Sunday that autopsy revealed that Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat died of torture.
"Traces of severe torture appeared on Jaradat's body: neck, face and backbone," Qaraqe' told reporters in a news conference held in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Jaradat, 30, died in an Israeli prison on Saturday after he was detained in one of the almost-daily Israeli army raids in the West Bank since less than a week.
Initial Israeli media reports cited sources suggesting that Jaradat died of a heart attack. Qaraeq' denied this claims, describing it ad "untrue Israeli claim."
"There was no signs of a heart attack or stroke," Qaraqe' said.
Jaradat's death angered Palestinians who have been protesting for several days to support the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, especially the four prisoners, who have been on a hunger strike for months and demanded an end to their administrative detention, in which they could be locked up for long period without a trail.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Israel on Sunday to either charge or release the hunger-strikers immediately.
According to a statement released by the HRW, the watchdog group said "Israel must stop denying them and their lawyers' access to evidence of their alleged crimes."