The death of a Palestinian minister during a protest against land confiscations in the West Bank may have resulted from arbitrary and abusive force by Israeli forces against demonstrators, said Amnesty International.
Ziad Abu Ein, who headed a committee that opposed the West Bank wall and Israeli settlements, died after a confrontation with Israeli forces in the village of Turmus'ayya. Photographs posted online showed Israeli forces grabbing his throat.
“This appears to be a tragedy that could have been avoided. The Israeli forces have an abysmal track record when it comes to policing protests and have frequently resorted to the unnecessary or excessive use of force against protesters in the West Bank, resulting in numerous unlawful killings. And they continue to do so with impunity,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.
Shortly before his death Ziad Abu Ein told news reporters the protest had been peaceful. "We came to plant trees on Palestinian land, and they launched into an attack on us from the first moment. Nobody threw a single stone," he said.