bilin protest 248 88 ap.
(photo credit: AP)
Officials from the Palestinian Authority canceled a meeting planned for late
Sunday night with officers from the IDF Central Command and the Civil
Administration for Judea and Samaria, during which they were to be briefed on
the military’s findings in the Jawaher Abu Rahma case.
Abu Rahma, 35,
died about 10 days ago following a demonstration near the Palestinian town of
Bil’in against the construction of the West Bank security barrier. Palestinians
claimed that she died after inhaling large amounts of tear gas, fired by the IDF
to disperse the demonstration.
The IDF planned to present officials from
PA security services with evidence it had obtained that, senior Israeli officers
have said, contradicted the Palestinian claims and proved that Abu Rahma’s death
was the result of the medical treatment she received at the hospital, completely
unrelated to the tear gas.
Abu Rahma, IDF sources have said, did not
actively participate in the demonstration, but was inside a house about 500
Last Monday, the IDF said it assessed that Abu Rahma had
died of medical complications that were not connected to tear gas and that the
medicines she received after being evacuated to the hospital were used to treat
people suffering from cancer, poison or a drug overdose.
have rejected the IDF claims, with top PA officials calling her a martyr and her
death a war crime.
The IDF investigation into the incident is ongoing as
other operational aspects of the military’s conduct during the demonstration are
being reviewed. IDF officers stressed, however, that the military did not plan
on changing the way it used tear gas to disperse violent demonstrations like the
ones that regularly take place at Bil’in on Friday.
cancellation, IDF officers said they were in touch with the PA and hoped to set
up a meeting with top officials there for later this week.
According to a
report from the Red Crescent ambulance that brought Abu Rahma to the hospital,
she was having difficulty breathing due to gas inhalation. Muhammad Eidh, the
director of the Palestine Medical Complex where she was hospitalized in
Ramallah, has consistently told The Jerusalem Post that Abu Rahma was treated
solely for tear gas inhalation.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this