Palestinian minister dies during protest


Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein dies after a confrontation with Israeli troops at a West Bank protest, amid conflicting reports about the cause.

Palestinian medics said he died from complications related to tear gas exposure.

But several witnesses said the minister had been hit and shoved by soldiers. One said he had been hit in the chest by a tear-gas canister fired by them.

Israel’s Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon expressed regret for the minister’s death in a statement.

Kevin Connolly says there are conflicting reports about what happened. The Israeli military (IDF) said it was investigating the incidents surrounding Mr Ein’s death.

Israeli and Jordanian experts would attend a post-mortem examination, the IDF said. It has also proposed setting up a joint team with the Palestinians to investigate Mr Abu Ein’s death.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an investigation into the death and urged “all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid escalation”.

Following the incident dozens of Palestinians reportedly gathered at the scene, near the village of Turmusaya, setting fire to tyres and throwing stones at security forces.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held a Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) meeting in Ramallah following news of the death of the minister, whom he called a “martyr”.

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