Minister seen clutching his chest before collapsing; disturbances break out in Kalandia.
The IDF is investigating the death of a Palestinian Authority minister who died after an altercation with Israeli security forces on Wednesday and preparing for a possible upsurge in violence in the West Bank in the aftermath of the incident.
A senior IDF officer said the military has begun an indepth check into the circumstances of the incident, which occurred in the Emek Shilo of Samaria, an area prone to frequent clashes.
Wednesday\’s demonstration, held to demand the right to plant trees in the area, had been planned by the PA\’s Ministry for Settlements and the Fence over the past two weeks, and held between Route 60 and the Alon Road, near the settlement of Adi Ad. Demonstrators had demanded to be able to plant trees some 30 meters away from Adi Ad.
Twenty minutes into the demonstration, the PA Minister for Settlements and the Fence, Zaid Abu Ein, arrived and took part, the officer said.
"We permitted the demonstration, but set a line that can\’t be crossed to prevent it from spilling into Adi Ad," the officer said. "We informed the demonstrators of this line," he added.
A minor confrontation ensued, the officer continued, describing it as "routine for this kind of demonstration. From this point onwards, the level of friction involving Abu Ein is unclear. We are still investigating the circumstances," the officer said.
Soldiers from a Home Front Command battalion and the Border Police held back the protesters, and fired stun grenades and a few tear gas canisters, he stated.