Pales­tinian woman dies af­ter tear-gassing

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

A Pales­tinian woman from the West Bank vil­lage of Bilin died Satur­day a day af­ter in­hal­ing tear gas fired by Is­raeli troops dur­ing a demon­stra­tion against Is­rael’s sep­a­ra­tion bar­rier, wit­nesses said.

Pro­test­ers march weekly in Bilin against theWest Bank fence, which has cut off the vil­lage from much of its farm­land. Fri­day’s protest, the last of 2010, was big­ger than usual, with hun­dreds of par­tic­i­pants, in­clud­ing sup­port­ers from out­side the vil­lage.

Wit­nesses said Jawa­her Abu Rahma, 36, was hos­pi­tal­ized in Ramallah af­ter chok­ing on tear gas, and ef­forts to save her failed. The Is­raeli army said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing. The woman’s brother was killed at a protest in 2009 when he was struck by a tear-gas pro­jec­tile.

The Is­raeli Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the route of the bar­rier at Bilin should be changed, al­low­ing vil­lagers ac­cess to more of their lands, but the army has yet to com­ply.

The lat­est vi­o­lence came as Is­raeli-Pales­tinian peace ef­forts re­main stalled. Di­rect talks broke down in late Septem­ber af­ter Is­rael re­sumed new con­struc­tion in­West Bank set­tle­ments af­ter a 10-month freeze, and the Pales­tini­ans said they would not ne­go­ti­ate un­less the build­ing stopped.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tin­ues to meet sep­a­rately with both sides.

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