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Medics: Palestinian woman dies after inhaling tear gas

April 15, 2014 12:21 P.M. (Updated: April 17, 2014 2:31 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (AFP) -- A Palestinian woman died in hospital after inhaling tear gas used by the Israeli army to disperse protesters near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, a medical official said Tuesday.

Late on Monday the army "fired tear gas near the home of the woman, who was suffering from health problems," the medical official told AFP.

The woman, in her 40s, "died after arriving at hospital," the official said.

The incident took place in Aida refugee camp northwest of Bethlehem.

"The death was not linked to the use of riot dispersal means by the army, including tear gas," an army spokeswoman said, confirming the clashes but giving no further details.

In a similar incident in January, an 85-year-old Palestinian man died in his own home after breathing in tear gas fired by Israeli security forces near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Aida camp is a frequent site of clashes because it is located beside Rachel's Tomb, which is surrounded on three sides by the Israeli separation wall despite being in the middle of the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

There are 19 refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, within which live about a quarter of the 771,000 registered refugees in the territory.

More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants -- were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel's creation in 1948.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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