Accusations fly over death of Palestinian minister

(AGI) Rome, Dec 11 - Thousands of people attended the funeralof Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein in Ramallah on Thursday.Accusations continue to fly between Israel and the PalestinianNational Authority (PNA) as to the cause of his death onWednesday during a West Bank demonstration. The PNA says Israelis responsible for his 'murder', pointing to images takenduring the protest that showed an Israeli soldier attacking MrEin by grabbing him around the throat. The Israelis claim theincident was linked to the minister's precarious state ofhealth. Initial autopsy results, circulated by the IsraelHealth Ministry

(AGI) Rome, Dec 11 - Thousands of people attended the funeralof Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein in Ramallah on Thursday.Accusations continue to fly between Israel and the PalestinianNational Authority (PNA) as to the cause of his death onWednesday during a West Bank demonstration. The PNA says Israelis responsible for his 'murder', pointing to images takenduring the protest that showed an Israeli soldier attacking MrEin by grabbing him around the throat. The Israelis claim theincident was linked to the minister's precarious state ofhealth. Initial autopsy results, circulated by the IsraelHealth Ministry after the joint tests by Palestinian andJordanian doctors, showed that Mr Ein died of a heart attack,caused by a blocked coronary artery, evidence of a smallinternal haemorrage and localised pressure around the neck. ThePalestinans, however, maintain that the haemorrhage was causedby the attack, while the Israelis have said his death wascaused by the stress of the situation and that the 55-year-oldminister had a heart condition and a history of heart attacks.There is said to be proof that his blood vessels were over 80percent blocked by plaque. Earlier a high-ranking Palestinian,Hussein al-Sheikh, citing the Palestinian and Jordanianforensic experts, said that the minister was killed by theattack, compounded by the inhalation of tear gas and a delay inreceiving medical treatment. Israeli doctor Hen Kugel, whoattended the autopsy, has refuted this version of events,saying death was caused by a heart attack, significant arterialobstruction and a bad heart. Being grabbed around the throatled to severe stress, which triggered the haemorrage and causedthe blockage that killed him. He said the Palestinans were notdisagreeing with this, stressing that the only matter still tobe clarified related to the injuries to Mr Ein's teeth, tongueand trachea, which could have been the result of resuscitationattempts or an attack, as the Palestinians believe. Meanwhiletension in the area remains high, with clashes betweenPalestinian demonstrators and Israeli security forces near theTomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and protests at Turmus Iya,where Mr Ein died on Wednesday. U.S. Secretary of State JohnKerry is due to arrive in Rome on Sunday, where he will meetIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and attempt to findsome way of avoiding international isolation. (AGI) . .