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Israel examines alleged torture of suspect in fatal blast

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian suspect in a deadly West Bank bombing was in severe condition at an Israeli hospital, his lawyer said Sunday, as Israeli media reported an investigation was opened into possible wrongdoing by Israeli security officers during interrogation.

Mahmoud Hassan said that his client, Samir Arbeed, was on a respirator at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem and had "suffered broken ribs and kidney failure" a day after Israel announced Arbeed and two other militants had been arrested.

Hassan said Arbeed had "undergone severe torture" in Israeli custody. According to media reports, the Israeli Ministry of Justice embarked on an inquiry into the interrogation process of Arbeed by agents of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service.

Shin Bet said the man "did not feel well" during interrogation and was taken to a hospital. It gave no further details. On Saturday, Israeli officials announced that Arbeed and two others had been arrested for involvement in last month's bombing that killed a teenage Israeli girl and wounded her father and a brother at a spring near Dolev, a settlement northwest of Jerusalem.

Israel said Arbeed and his cell, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, planned other attacks and that an additional bomb had been uncovered. They were caught in a joint operation by Shin Bet, Israeli police and the army.

The bombing that killed 17-year-old Rina Shnerb had perplexed Israeli security agencies since it involved a hidden explosive device, a tactic rarely used by Palestinian militants in the West Bank. In the intermittent wave of violence in the West Bank, where 7,000 Israeli settlers live among over 2.5 Palestinians, Palestinian assailants often attack Israeli settlers and soldiers by stabbing, car-ramming or drive-by shootings.

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