Palestinians and Israelis dispute minister’s cause of death

World Today

Thousands attended the funeral of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died during a protest in the West Bank. Israel said the minister likely died of a heart attack, but Palestinian leaders said an Israeli soldier killed him after grabbing the minister’s neck. As CCTV America’s Stephanie Freid reported from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, his death could further inflame tensions in Middle East.

Palestinians and Israelis dispute minister’s cause of death

Palestinians and Israelis dispute minister’s cause of death

Thousands attended the funeral of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died during a protest in the West Bank. Israel said the minister likely died of a heart attack, but Palestinian leaders said an Israeli soldier killed him after grabbing the minister's neck. As CCTV America's Stephanie Freid reported from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, his death could further inflame tensions in Middle East.

During a peaceful olive tree planting protest, an Israeli soldier roughed up the minister. Moments later, he collapsed and died. The cause of his death conclusions were conflicting, even among the joint Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian team of autopsy pathologists.

Israel officials said Abu Ein suffered a heart attack due to pre-existing conditions. The Palestinian authority accused Israel of murder, saying tear gas and rough treatment killed the leader. This was a pattern they fear will repeat leading up to March Israel government elections.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning to mark the Abu Ain’s death. Leaders were considering cutting joint security arrangements with Israel in response to the killing.