Palestinian American Dies in Custody of Jericho Security

The Washington Post

A Palestinian American grocer on vacation from Dallas was returned dead to his wife and family here early Friday after about 36 hours in the custody of security police in the Palestinian self-rule enclave of Jericho.

Members of his immediate family said that Azzam Mohammed Rahim Mosleh, 52, was picked up for questioning Wednesday at a Yabrud cafe by plainclothesmen who identified themselves as agents of Jericho’s Preventive Security police.

Mosleh was dressed only in trousers when his body was returned Friday at 2 a.m. His forehead was bruised blue, his lip was torn, blood had flowed from one ear, and there were what appeared to be burn marks on his right foot, according to family members who saw him.


Palestinian security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Mosleh was overcome by the 98-degree weather and had a heart attack. A doctor at Jericho’s hospital, where Mosleh was dead on arrival, refused to issue a death certificate. The certificate would normally include a cause of death.

Mosleh is at least the fourth person--the first holding a U.S. passport--to die in suspicious circumstances in the hands of the Palestinian self-rule security establishment.

One American official said the U.S. consul general in Jerusalem would place “tremendous pressure” on the Jericho forces for an independent investigation into Mosleh’s death and that the FBI would take part, as it sometimes does in foreign cases involving Americans, to establish if there was any political motivation against the United States.