Ziad Abu Ein, a senior Palestinian cabinet minister has died after clashes between demonstrators and Israeli troops during a protest in the West Bank. President Mahmoud Abbas called Abu Ein’s death a “brutal act”.
RT reports: There are conflicting reports on how Abu Ein, a leading member of Abbas’ Fatah movement, died.
Several media outlets say he was reportedly struck in the chest with a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops, after which he collapsed. Other reports say Israeli forces beat Abu Ein with the butts of their rifles and their helmets. Following the violent altercation, he was later taken to the hospital in Ramallah, where he died.
Ynet reports that Abu Ein suffered from a medical condition, which may have played a role in his death.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned “the brutal assault that led to the martyrdom” of Abu Ein, labeling it “a barbaric act that cannot be tolerated or accepted,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
“We will take the necessary measures after the results of the investigation into the incident,” Abbas said.
Following the incident, Jibril Rajoub, a Palestinian official, announced the halt of security coordination with Israel.
The Israeli military said it was looking into the report.
His death follows violent overnight clashes near Shilo, an Israeli settlement in the northern West Bank located 28 miles (45km) north of Jerusalem. The clashes were reportedly sparked after settlers accused Palestinians of stealing a mare. Palestinians in turn said the settlers pelted their vehicles with cars. Troops from the Israeli Defense Forces were deployed to quell the violence.
Mahmoud Aloul, another leading member of the Fatah movement, told AP he and Abu Ain had been among dozens of protesters carrying olive tree saplings during a protest against land confiscations near the West Bank village of Turmus Aya.