Jawaher Abu Rahma, who died less than 24 hours after participating in a protest against the West Bank separation fence at Bilin, was buried Saturday afternoon in her village. Abu Rahma was the sister of Bassem, who was killed at similar Bilin protest in 2009, and Ashraf, who was shot by an IDF soldier when his hands were cuffed.
The Palestinian Authority was quick to voice its condemnation, and the IDF is investigating the circumstances of her death.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Abu Rahma's family to express his condolences. At the same time, Sultan Abu Al-Einein from the Fatah Central Committee came to the house to deliver a message of condolence from the Palestinian president, who is currently in Brazil. Palestinian media reported that Abbas condemned the "Israeli crime which is part of a series of crimes carried out by the occupation army against our helpless nation."
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat also voiced his condemnation, calling the killing a "war crime."
"We condemn this appalling crime by the Israeli army against participants in a peace-seeking protest," he said. "This is part of war crimes Israel carries out against our nation."
Palestinian sources said Abu Rahma died in a hospital in Ramallah from blood poisoning after inhaling a large quantity of tear gas. The IDF and the Civil Administration have opened investigations into the death. IDF sources claimed surprise at the death, because, they said, there had been no exceptional use of tear gas – neither quantity nor type.
Muhammad Abu Rahma, Jawaher's uncle, spoke of her activities and the moment she was hurt. "She came to all the protests during the last five years," he said.
"Yesterday (Friday) they fired an unprecedented quantity of tear gas at us, and Jawaher was trapped in an area where there was a huge cloud of gas. She didn't manage to get out, lost consciousness, and inhaled large amounts of gas. We managed to locate her only after some minutes, because the gas made it hard to find her."
Later on Saturday, hundreds of people protested outside the Kirya compound in Tel Aviv against the "violent and lethal oppression of the non-violent protest against the theft of Bilin lands."
Eight people were arrested in the demonstration, including former Meretz Knesset Member Moshe "Mossi" Raz.
One of the protestors told Ynet that a police officer slapped Raz "for no reason" before he was arrested.
Magali Skidelski and Yoan Zitun contributed to the report
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