Police: Autopsy Rules Out Foul Play in Death of Palestinian Bus Driver

The 32-year-old was found hanged in a bus; deceased's family insist he was killed, cite Palestinian pathology report that there were signs of violence on his body.

Entrance to Har Hotzfim.
Buses at the Egged bus depot next to the Kanyon Har Hotzvim shopping mall. Wikimedia Commons

An autopsy on the body of a Palestinian bus driver found hanged in a bus in Jerusalem has ruled out foul play, police said on Monday. 

The body of the 32-year-old Egged driver was found in a bus depot in the West Jerusalem area of Har Hotzfim late on Sunday night. Clashes broke out in East Jerusalem overnight after the body was discovered.

Witnesses had told Palestinian news agency Ma'an that Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni was killed by settlers, while Al-Quds newspaper reported that the driver was "lynched" by six Jewish men.

A wave of rumors has since spread on social networks among Palestinian users.

Following the autopsy, however, police confirmed there was no evidence of foul play in his death, meaning that the most likely cause was suicide. 

The driver's family rejected the police statement, and maintained that Ramouni was killed. Based on a report by Palestinian pathologist Dr. Saber al-Aloul, they insist there were signs of violence on his body.

"According to the report they made for us, there is no way he committed suicide. My brother had everything in life," his brother said, adding that he was utterly certain Ramouni was killed. "This is impossible, he had a great life."

The funeral is expected to take place Monday evening at the cemetery in Abu Dis in Jerusalem. 

Palestinian media sources identified the deceased as Ramouni, a resident of East Jerusalem's Ras al-Amud neighborhood and father of two. Following the autopsy, his body was due to be transferred from Israel's Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir to his family.

Ramouni was supposed to begin his scheduled 57 route at 9:20 P.M. on Sunday night, and at 10 P.M. another driver found his body hanging in the center of the bus from a thin cord. Relatives of the deceased took photos of his body that they claim show signs of violence.

Ramouni's family claimed he had no reason to commit suicide as he was not facing any crises. Colleagues of Ramouni said that Palestinian bus drivers have long been subjected to violence by Jews.

CCTV footage from the bus depot may prove crucial in proving or disproving the two conflicting causes of death.