PA Settlement Minister dies in clash with IDF forces during demonstration

Palestinian media claims IDF soldier hit minister in the chest, causing him to collapse; Palestinian leaders accuse Israel of “assassination” and threaten to halt security arrangements with Israel; Autopsy Thursday confirms death caused by heart attack

Palestinian Authority Settlement Minister Ziad Abu Ein argues with IDF soldier before collapsing

Palestinian Authority Settlement Minister Ziad Abu Ein argues with IDF soldier before collapsing (AFP)

Palestinian Authority Settlement Minister Ziad Abu Ein died Wednesday following an altercation with an IDF soldier during a demonstration in the town of Turmusaya in the West Bank.

IDF forces were sent to the protest where they used tear gas to disperse the crowd. The IDF is investigating the incident but believe Abu Ein died from a heart attack.

Palestinian media however is reporting that an IDF soldier either struck the minister in the chest with his weapon or helmet, causing the minister to collapse. The Palestinian report did confirm that the minister suffered from previous health problems including diabetes and died upon being rushed to the hospital in Ramallah.

An Israeli doctor treated him en route to the hospital, a spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry reporting that an autopsy is underway.

Members of the Palestinian Authority and Fatah party have announced that they intend to halt security arrangements with Israel, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki quickly accusing Israel of murder stating, “Israel will pay”.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian’s chief negotiator called the incident an “assassination” adding that “The Israel government bears full responsibility for the killing of Minster Abu Ein and the systematic crimes committed against the Palestinian people.”

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas stated on the incident, “We will take the necessary steps after we learn the results of the investigation into his death’s circumstances” and called the death of the minister and the IDF soldier’s actions as “barbaric” and even stated that “the brutal assault that led to the martyrdom” of Abu Zein. He also announced a three-day mourning period for the death of the minister.

On Thursday morning, both Israeli and Palestinian medical officials confirm autopsy results that the death of the Palestinian Authority Settlement Minister Ziad Abu Ein West Bank protest was caused by a heart attack.