Speed Reads

Israel and Palestine

Palestinian minister dies after skirmish with Israeli police

On Wednesday, a Palestinian cabinet member died after clashing with Israeli police and troops during a march to an unauthorized Israeli settlement.

Ziad Abu Ain was one of several dozen Palestinians who left the West Bank village of Turmus Aya for Adei-Ad, The Associated Press reports. The plan was to plant olive tree saplings on the land of a villager who said troops refused to let him go to his property because it could cause friction with settlers. Witnesses say the protesters were blocked by police and soldiers, who also fired tear gas and stun grenades. At one point, witnesses say, an officer grabbed Abu Ain by the throat and pushed him. He later died on the way to the hospital.

An autopsy has yet to determine what killed Abu Ain, but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is calling what happened to him a "clear crime" and "barbaric act." Palestinians are drawing parallels to the death of Eric Garner in New York, and sharing a photo of Abu Ain and the officer online using #ICantBreathe. Activist Mahmoud Hreidat told AP he hoped using the hashtag would bring attention to Abu Ain's death. "What is happening here is no different from the discrimination against blacks in America," he said.