Mideast: Palestinian minister dies after clashes with army

Ziad Abu Ein hit at human rights demo

10 December, 14:01

    (ANSAmed) - RAMALLAH, DECEMBER 10 - Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein on Wednesday died at a hospital in Ramallah following incidents with the Israeli army during a demonstration near Ramallah.

    According to the director of the information committee Jamil al Barghouti, cited by Maan news agency, Ziad Abu Ein died ''after a soldier hit him on the chest with a helmet''.

    According to Maan, the minister also inhaled a lot of tear gas launched in the area of the demonstration by Israeli soldiers.

    Palestinian leader Abu Mazen was quoted by Ynet as calling the minister's death a ''barbaric act''. ''We will take the necessary steps after learning the results of investigations over the circumstances of the death'', he added. Abu Mazen called a three-day national mourning across all Occupied Territories.

    ''The murder of Minister Abu Ein is a further example of ferocious and arrogant actions committed by Israel against Palestinians'', said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

    ''Our brother Ziad - he added - died as he was taking part in the International day for human rights and was planting olive trees symbolizing hope for peace and justice''.

    According to the hospital's doctors, when the minister arrived he did not present signs of violence - However - according to the same sources - Ziad Abu Ein, 55, a former minister of prisoners and then in charge of the ministry overseeing the occupation, had inhaled tear gas launched during clashes.

    The Israeli army is also investigating the circumstances of death, military spokesman Peter Lerner said. (ANSAmed)
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