bilin protest 248 88 ap.
(photo credit: AP)
A woman injured by tear gas on Friday at the weekly demonstration against the security barrier in Bil'in died on Saturday at a Ramallah hospital, Palestinian sources reported.
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Jawaher Abu Rahma, 36, allegedly inhaled large amounts of tear gas dispensed by IDF soldiers to disperse the protesters.
The IDF admitted to using tear gas to disperse demonstrators, but called
into question the Palestinian claims that Rahma died as a result of gas
inhalation. An initial examination showed she sustained only light
wounds, was released from the hospital and only later died, the IDF
Abu Rahma's brother Bassam was killed
in April 2009 when he was hit with a gas cannister in a Bil'in protest.
Peace Now called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to set up an external inquiry committee to investigate IDF conduct during the incident.
The organizers of Friday's protest in Bil'in said that some 1,000
Palestinians took part in the demonstration against the security
barrier, including Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad.
Mohammed Khatib, a member of the Bil'in Popular Committee on Saturday
said "We are shocked and furious for Israel's brutality, which once
again cost the life of a peaceful demonstrator. Israel's lethal and
inhumane response to our struggle will not pass. In the dawn of a new
decade, it is time for the world to ask Israel for accountability and to
bring about an end to the occupation."
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned as a "war crime" the killing of Abu Rahma.
"We condemn this shocking crime committed by the Israeli army against participants in a peaceful protest," said Erekat
Palestinian Legislative Council official Mustafa Barghouti called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop using tear gas as a means to disperse demonstrations.
Barghouti also called on Palestinians "to document these incidents and these crimes so we can prosecute Israel in international court."