Palestinian woman dies after tear-gassing
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.