Israelis and Palestinians disagree over autopsy result after minister's death

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By Alasdair Sandford  with Reuters
Israelis and Palestinians disagree over autopsy result after minister's death

<p>The funeral has taken place in the West Bank for the Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein, who died after a confrontation with Israeli troops on Wednesday.</p> <p>The ceremony with full military honours in Ramallah came amid three days of mourning.</p> <p>The Palestinian Authority says it holds Israel “fully responsible” for the minister’s death. </p> <p>Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called the incident “barbaric” and said he and other top leaders would consider a response after the funeral.</p> <p>Israelis and Palestinians have issued conflicting accounts over the result of an autopsy, reportedly <a href="http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4602214,00.html" rel="external">led by Palestinian, Israeli and Jordanian pathologists</a>.</p> <p>A top Palestinian official said the minister died from being struck, inhaling tear gas and a delay in receiving medical attention.</p> <p>An Israeli medical source said a heart attack brought on by stress and a pre-existing heart condition was the cause.</p> <p>Israel has said it regrets the minister’s death. <a href="http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/12/10/joint-israeli-jordanian-examination-todays-incident-near-ramallah/" rel="external">The Israeli Defence Force announced a joint investigation</a> by an Israeli pathologist and a delegation from Jordan – and proposed a joint investigation team with the Palestinians to review the incident.</p> <p>The minister was among about 100 activists <a href="http://www.palestinechronicle.com/eyewitness-account-death-of-ziad-abu-ein-choked-by-an-israeli-soldier/#.VIl2elN1gaA" rel="external">protesting against a Jewish settlement</a> by planting olive trees in the village of Turmusiya north of Ramallah. At one stage Israeli soldiers and police fired tear gas and sound grenades.</p> <p>During a scuffle a policeman pushed Abu Ein and grabbed his neck. Some witnesses say he was also struck in the chest.</p> <p>Minutes later the 55-year-old began to look faint before becoming visibly unwell. He died on his way to hospital.</p> <p>Israel has reinforced troops in the West Bank following the minister’s death.</p>