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PA: Israel responsible for killing minister

Dec. 11, 2014 12:09 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 12, 2014 11:43 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The autopsy results of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein show that he died after a powerful blow to the diaphragm and the heavy use of tear gas, Palestinian minister of civil affairs Hussein al-Sheikh said.

"The reason for the death of Abu Ein was his being hit by (Israeli) occupation troops and because of the heavy use of tear gas," al-Sheikh told AFP.

"We will refer the autopsy results to the Palestinian leadership to take the decisions they want," al-Sheikh told reporters, adding that "if Israel admits to the murder of Abu Ein, there will be no need to go to the International Criminal Court."

Sabir al-Aloul, director of forensic medicine in the Ministry of Health, told Ma'an that a strike to Abu Ein's face dislodged his front teeth and forced them to the back of his throat, near the epiglottis.

There was also bruising on both sides of his neck and thyroid cartilage, indicative of heavy pressure.

Food was found in Abu Ein's respiratory canals and bleeding was reported in the Tunica intima artery, located in the throat.

Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli pathologists participated in the autopsy at Al-Quds university. The Israeli pathologist did not sign the autopsy report, although he reportedly approved of the results, al-Sheikh said.

"After hearing the results of the post-mortem, the Palestinian government holds Israel fully responsible for the killing of Ziad Abu Ein," PA spokesman Ihab Bseiso told reporters.

The incident took place as Abu Ein took part in a march of about 300 Palestinians who intended to plant olive trees as a symbolic act of protest against Israeli settlements, according to an AFP photographer.

The group was confronted by soldiers and border police in the village of Turmusayya. Tear gas was fired, three soldiers grabbed Abu Ein and he was struck in the chest, the photographer said.

AFP contributed to this report
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