Bil'in protest August 2010 AP
A Palestinian throwing stones at Israeli troops during a protest in the West Bank village of Bil’in in August. Photo by AP
Text size

The Israel Defense Forces said Sunday that it was investigating the death of a Palestinian woman at a demonstration in the West Bank over the weekend.

Palestinian medical officials Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, died after inhaling tear gas at a protest against Israel's separation barrier in the village of Bil'in on Friday. The exact circumstances remain unclear.

Tear gas can kill if a victim has a pre-existing condition, according to doctors.

Mohammed Eideh, who treated Abu Rahmah in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said she had asthma. Her parents said she did not. Some reports said she was quickly released from hospital and later died.

The family's attorney accused the army on Sunday of lying about the circumstances surrounding her death.

The IDF said it has not been allowed to see the Palestinian medical reports.

Meanwhile, hundreds of left-wing activists gathered in front of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest the death.

According to protesters, police who arrived at the scene were acting violently toward the activists, and former Knesset member Musi Raz from Meretz was reportedly arrested and beaten by police.

Police forces arrested seven more activists during the demonstration; protesters said Raz was detained and beaten by police. According to the police, the protesters were blocking major roads and were violent toward police officers.