Hundreds in Ramallah mourn Palestinian minister’s death

Ramallah: Hundreds of people attended the funeral Thursday of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein who died the day before in a scuffle with Israeli security forces during a protest demonstration.

The funeral began at 8 a.m. GMT at the hospital in Ramallah from where Abu Ein was transferred to the Muqata, the headquarters of the Palestinian government, where the funeral cortege was to arrive at noon after winding through the city streets.

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An Israeli pathologist said that Abu Ein, who was the head of the Committee to Resist Settlements and the Wall, died of a heart attack after an Israeli soldier pushed and dragged him by neck while he was participating in a march against the confiscation of a plot of land from Palestinian families for the expansion of a Jewish settlement.

Two forensic specialists, a Palestinian and a Jordanian, said his death was caused by the inhalation of tear gas and being struck in the chest.

Both the Palestinian police and the Israeli army were on high alert for possible rioting at border crossings, following violent unrest late Wednesday near the Qalandia crossing.

The death of Abu Ein, one of the historic commanders of the Fatah movement, raised tensions between Palestinians and Israelis and negatively affected security coordination.