Palestinian Minister’s Death at Protest Deeply Troubling

December 10, 2014

We are deeply troubled by the news of Palestinian Authority Minister Ziad Abu Ein’s death today following his collapse at a protest in the West Bank village of Turmusiya. We welcome reports that the Israel Defense Forces have already begun an investigation into the circumstances of the minister’s death and urge that the inquiry be thorough and that its findings be made promptly and publicly available.

That this incident occurred on International Human Rights Day should serve as a stark reminder of the untenable status quo under occupation and prompt a larger conversation about IDF procedure and practice in confronting non-violent Palestinian protests.

While President Abbas’ outrage is understandable, we are concerned by reports that the Palestinian Authority is considering suspending security cooperation, even temporarily. Continued security cooperation is critical to preventing further violence in both the West Bank and Israel. We urge the president not to go down this road.

We send our condolences to the Abu Ein family, the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.