News / Middle East

    Palestinian Shot, Killed at Israeli Checkpoint

    Palestinian mourners carry the body of Palestinian woman Jawaher Abu Rahmeh, 36, during her funeral in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah, 01 Jan 2011
    Palestinian mourners carry the body of Palestinian woman Jawaher Abu Rahmeh, 36, during her funeral in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah, 01 Jan 2011
    Robert Berger

    Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man early Sunday after he allegedly tried to attack the troops with a bottle at a West Bank checkpoint. Israeli officials says the man ignored orders to stop as he approached the soldiers at the checkpoint near the city of Nablus.

    Meanwhile, Israeli riot control is being reviewed after a death following a Palestinian demonstration in the West Bank.  

    The Israeli army is investigating the death of a Palestinian woman after she inhaled tear gas at a West Bank demonstration on Friday.  Palestinians say soldiers used massive amounts of tear gas at the weekly protest against Israel's separation barrier in the village of Bilin.

    On Saturday, 36-year-old protester Jawaher Abu Rahmeh died. She was treated by Palestinian Doctor Mohammed Eida.

    "Her condition was critical.  She was in hypertension.  She was given all kinds of treatments," he said.

    A relative said Abu Rahmeh had suffered from asthma since childhood and a family doctor said she had a weak immune system.   Tear gas is rarely lethal, but doctors say it can kill a person who has an illness.

    The military said Israeli soldiers used tear gas to quell what it described as a "violent and illegal riot."  It released photos of Palestinian youths using slingshots and throwing a firebomb at troops.  The army said it had not been allowed to see the Palestinian medical reports, and that was hindering the investigation into the woman's death.

    Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti says it was excessive use of force.

    "The death of Jawaher Abu Rahmeh was the result of the Israeli military use of concentrated tear gas in very huge amounts and quantities against peaceful demonstrators," Barghouti said.

    It was the second tragedy to strike the same Palestinian family at the weekly demonstrations against the security fence.  Abu Rahmeh's brother was killed in 2009 when he was hit by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops.

     

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