UPDATE: Abbas Condemns Israeli Forces’ Killing of PA Minister near Ramallah

RAMALLAH, December 10, 2014 – (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday condemned the Israeli forces’ killing of PA minister without portfolio Zeyad Abu Ein as forces suppressed a peaceful demonstration held near Ramallah.

Abbas slammed the assault as an ‘intolerable barbaric act that cannot be tolerated nor accepted.”

He announced a three-day mourning period and vowed to take all necessary measures after learning the results of an investigation into the death of Abu Ein.

Head of the Palestinian Authority’s Committee against the Wall and Settlement and member of Fatah Revolutionary Council Ziad Abu Ein was killed after being assaulted by Israeli soldiers during a peaceful demonstration near Ramallah, reported witnesses.

Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful demonstration and an olive tree planting event marking the United Nation’s International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in the village of Turms Ayya, north of Ramallah, assaulting Palestinians and firing tear gas canisters towards them.

Abu Ein, who was among the protesters along with foreign activists, lost consciences due to tear gas inhalation and after being directly hit in the chest by an Israeli soldier and was transferred to hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Abu Ein was born in 1959, and was first arrested at the age of 18 in November 1977. In August 1979, he was rearrested and was ‘extradited’ by the US to Israel two years later, where he received a life sentence. He was released in a prisoner swap in May 1985 and rearrested in July 1985 and held several times later under administrative detention.

The UN General Assembly passed several resolutions, including Resolution 36/171, in favor of Abu Ein. In its resolution, the UN General Assembly mentioned that Abu Ein was ‘illegally detained’ in a US prison for over two years and that “the sole basis for probable cause against Mr. Ziad Abu Ein was a statement in Hebrew extracted from a person who had no knowledge of the Hebrew language and who was in Israeli custody, whose statement was later recanted.”

He assumed several key Fatah positions, most importantly member of Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission from 2003 to 2007, Deputy Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs in 2006 and Head of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Commission, his current position.