Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday evening that all options to respond to the killing of a Palestinian minister are up for debate.
Abbas said prior to a meeting with PA leaders that what happened earlier Wednesday is a “crime in all the meaning of the word.”
He added: “We are determined to continue popular resistance” until the occupation and settlements are removed.
Abbas said that Israel would fabricate accounts in order to clear itself of the “murder of minister Abu Ein.”
Earlier Wednesday, the Palestinian leadership indicated that it had decided to end all security coordination with Israel in response to the death of Ziad Abu Ein.
Jibril Rajoub told press that the PA will end “all forms of security coordination with Israel for deliberately killing Minister Ziad Abu Ein.”
Three soldiers grabbed Abu Ein and hit him in the chest, an AFP photographer said. Abu Ein fell and an Israeli army doctor rushed to treat him before he was evacuated to hospital.
Another witness, Kamal Abu Safaka, said that Abu Ein was “beaten by a soldier” in the chest “after having a conversation with the officer in charge.”
His death was condemned by Palestinian factions, with immediate calls to halt security coordination with Israeli forces, a policy already widely unpopular with Palestinians.
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad called on the PA to halt all security coordination following news of Abu Ein’s death, with Islamic Jihad leader Khalid al-Batsh saying Israel only understands the “language of force.”
Palestinian National Initiative leader Mustafa Barghouthi said the PA official’s death reflects the “barbarism and savagery of the Israeli occupation,” while the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine urged the international community to take action to prove human rights organizations have any credibility.
Abu Ein, 55, has previously been arrested and imprisoned by Israel.
He was extradited from the United States in 1981 over the murder of two Israelis in Tiberias in 1979, and sentenced to life in prison, but released in 1985 in a prisoner exchange.
Besides his role in the PA monitoring Israeli settlements and the separation barrier, Abu Ein was a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and previously served as deputy minister for prisoner affairs.
(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)