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The Settlement Minister in the Palestinian Authority (PA), Ziad Abu Ein, died after a confrontation with Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) during a West Bank protest, witnesses and medics said. President Mahmoud Abbas called Abu Ein’s death a “brutal act”.
Ahmed Bitawi, the director of the Ramallah hospital, told AFP Abu Ein “was martyred after being beaten in the chest.”
Mahmoud Aloul, another leading member of the Fatah movement, told AP the incident occurred when he and Abu Ein joined dozens of protesters carrying olive tree saplings during a protest against land confiscations near the West Bank village of Turmus Aya.
Abu Ein was in charge of a Palestinian Authority department, whose work concerned Israeli settlements and the Israeli separation barrier. Previously, he served as deputy minister for prisoner affairs.
Abu Ein’s death follows violent overnight clashes near Shilo, an Israeli settlement in the northern West Bank located 28 miles (45km) north of Jerusalem.