HEBRON, West Bank (CBS) -- Israeli officials on Monday (February 25) called on the Palestinian Authority to control demonstrators, as tensions ran high hours before a funeral for a Palestinian detainee who died in an Israeli prison.
"Israel expects the Palestinian Authority to act responsibly and to prevent incitement and violence that can only exacerbate the current situation. Ultimately violence offers no solution," said Mark Regev, Spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister in Jerusalem.
Regev's call came as scores of Palestinian youth clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank village of Beit Ainoon, near Se'eer where a funeral for 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat was to be held.
Palestinian officials say he died after being tortured. Israel said an autopsy, carried out with a Palestinian coroner present, was inconclusive and that injuries, such as broken ribs, could have been caused by efforts to revive him.
The death of Jaradat and an extended hunger strike by four inmates have flared tension across the occupied West Bank, where stone-throwing protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers.
The Palestinian autopsy findings could further fuel unrest that has surged in the Palestinian Territories weeks before U.S. President Barack Obama is due to visit the region. Israel demanded the Palestinian Authority restore calm to the area.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Abbas aide, said Israel's treatment of prisoners and anti-Palestinian violence by Jewish settlers were 'the cause of the deterioration'.
The Prisons Authority said on Saturday (February 23) that Jaradat had not been on a hunger strike and had been examined by an Israeli doctor during an interrogation on Thursday (February 21).
Some 3,000 prisoners held a one-day fast on Sunday in protest of Jaradat's death, which Israel initially said was caused by a heart attack.
Some 4,700 Palestinians are in Israeli jails, many of them convicted of anti-Israeli attacks and others detained without trial. Palestinians see them as political prisoners and as heroes in a statehood struggle, and the death of any of the hunger-strikers would likely trigger widespread violence.