U.N. wants probe into Palestinian minister’s death

The Security Council called on all sides to exercise maximum restraint

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The U.N. Security Council called for a speedy and transparent investigation after a senior Palestinian official died during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers, Agence France Presse reported.

The Palestinian leadership has blamed Israel for “killing” 55-year-old Ziad Abu Ein on Wednesday, which came during an anti-settlements protest march by roughly 300 Palestinians who intended to plant olive trees as a symbolic act.

Ziad Abu Ein was a Palestinian official in charge of the settlement portfolio. He died shortly after being hit and shoved by Israeli soldiers during the protest in the occupied West Bank, a Reuters photographer who witnessed the incident and a medic said.

Israeli authorities say an investigation has been launched and called for calm, amid speculation the Palestinian Authority would suspend security coordination with Israel in the occupied West Bank.

A Security Council statement issued late Friday “encouraged the parties to ensure that a swift and transparent investigation is undertaken. Council members took note of the willingness of the government of Israel to conduct a joint investigation into the incident.

“The members of the Security Council called on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation.”

(With AFP)

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