Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein (L) scuffles with an Israeli border policeman near the West Bank city of Ramallah December 10, 2014. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
UN Mideast envoy Robert Serry called on Israel to promptly investigate the death of the Palestinian Authority minister who died shortly after being involved in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank on Wednesday .
A statement from his office said that Serry "is deeply saddened by the death of Minister Ziad Abu Ein who died today during protest activity in the village of Turmusiya, near Ramallah, which resulted in clashes with Israeli security forces. He expresses his condolences to Minister Abu Ein’s family, the Palestinian people and its leadership."
"The Special Coordinator urges the Israeli authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstance of his death and appeals for calm," he added.
The IDF spokesperson released a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying that Israeli pathologists from the Abu Kabir Forensics Institute in Tel Aviv would join pathologists from Jordan to investigate Abu Ein's cause of death.
The army said that the Jordanian pathologists were on their way to begin the investigation. It was not clear whether the probe would take place in Israel or in the West Bank.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday that reports of excessive use of force by Israeli security forces are "extremely worrying."
"I call for an immediate, independent investigation into Minister Abu Ein's death. This is a dramatic reminder for the entire international community of the deteriorating situation on the ground," she said.
Mogherini in a written statement, said she expected all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid all actions that would further raise tensions.
The 55-year-old minister was taking part in a protest against Israeli settlements when he was involved in the clashes.
According to IDF sources, the military initially believed that his death was the result of a heart attack but was investigating.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai and his counterpart from the Palestinian Authority, Hussein Hashaikh will jointly investigate Abu Ein's death, the army said.