Palestinian petitions Court to probe daughter’s death

Claims that woman died after inhaling tear gas at protest challenged by IDF investigation showing that the woman did not attend the protest.

Hamas policemen Palestinian Gaza protes_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Hamas policemen Palestinian Gaza protes_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
Subhiye Abu Rahma, the mother of a woman Palestinians claim died after inhaling tear gas during a West Bank demonstration last December, petitioned the High Court of Justice on Sunday to order a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s death.
The petitioners claim Jawaher Abu Rahma died after breathing a cloud of tear gas fired by the IDF during a demonstration against the West Bank security barrier in Bil’in, 12 km. west of Ramallah.
The petition, filed by Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rightson behalf of Subhiye Abu Rahma and members of the Popular Committee Against The Wall in Bil’in, says that after Abu Rahma’s died the Military Advocate-General’s Office refused to open a criminal investigation, and instead informed them that an operational- level investigation into Abu Rahma’s death had shown “no causal connection between the incident and [her] death.”
That left them with no recourse but to ask the High Court to order the IDF to open a full criminal investigation, the petitioners said.
The circumstances surrounding the death of the 36-year-old Bil’in resident remain mired in controversy, with the IDF denying the claims of Palestinians and anti-barrier protesters that Abu Rahma died as a direct result of inhaling tear gas.
In a speech a day after Abu Rahma died, Jonathan Pollak of Anarchists Against the Wall said she had been among the main body of protesters in Bil’in when she was overcome by tear gas.
However, an IDF probe in January into the incident concluded that Abu Rahma had not even attended the protest, but had been inside a house about 500 meters away. The army said that later that day Abu Rahma was evacuated to a Ramallah hospital and treated for an ailment whose nature remained unclear.
According to the IDF’s findings, Abu Rahma died of complications from a medical condition not connected to tear gas.