The Palestinians have vowed to revenge the death of 36-year-old Jawaher Abu Rahma who died Saturday after having inhaled tear gas in an anti-fence protest in Bilin Friday, while the IDF continues to investigate the event.
The IDF and Civil Administration have began investigating the incident and military elements suggest there are doubts as to the cause of death as there was no irregular use of tear gas, in quantity or type. "Tear gas is a non-lethal crowd dispersal means which has been used by security forces around the world for decades and we are not aware of any person dying directly as a result of tear gas inhalation," a military source said.
Palestinian leadership described the death as a war crime. "We condemn this abominable crime by the Israeli occupation army in Bilin against people taking part in a peaceful demonstration and consider it an Israeli war crime against our people," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.
The Abu Rahma family's attorney responded to the news by saying: "The son was killed in a direct hit, the daughter was strangled with gas. They are two bold protestors in the face of a government which kills innocent people and does not question its criminals. We shall not keep quiet, we shall not yield or spare any means until justice is served and it will be served."
'Attended every protest'
Muhammad Abu Rahma, Jawaher's uncle related Friday's events. "She attended every protest in the last five years. Yesterday we were subjected to unprecedented amounts of tear gas and Jawaher was caught in an enormous gas cloud. She could not escape, lost consciousness and inhaled large quantities of gas.
"This is the second loss we have experience in two years and we are shocked," he said. "This is a legitimate campaign against Israel's illegal activity."
Jonathan Pollack of Anarchists Against the Wall said: "She suffered asphyxiation as a result of tear gas inhalation during the protest in Bilin and was taken to the hospital unconscious. She was diagnosed with severe poisoning as a result of the tear gas and did not respond to medical treatment."
Muhammad Khatib, member of the Bilin popular committee said Saturday: "We are shocked and enraged over the Israeli brutality which once again cost the life of a non-violent protestor.
"Israel's inhumane response to the popular campaign will not be ignored. At the onset of a new decade the time has come for the world to demand Israel to become answerable for its actions and end the occupation."
Palestinian parliament member Mustafa Barghouti called for an international campaign pressuring Israel to stop using tear gas against civilians, following Jawaher's death. The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that Barghouti has called doctors to document "the crimes committed by Israel" and pursue international legal action.
AFP and Roee Nahmias contributed to this report
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