Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s death last week was broadcast around the world. According to reports from nearly every source, the 36 year old Palestinian woman died after inhaling tear gas released by the IDS during a protest in Bil’in, a town in the West Bank.
The IDF shot tear gas at protesters at an anti-separation barrier demonstration in the West bank when the crows began throwing stones and forcefully dismantling the chain-link fence. The villagers’ claim that the fence unjustly separates them from their lands was upheld by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2007; however, the IDF has yet to enforce the court’s decision.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas jumped on the opportunity to condemn Israel, calling her death a “new Israeli crime carried out by the occupation army against our helpless nation.” At the same time, international media reported that the IDF had claimed that the woman had died of cancer, rather than from exposure to toxic tear gas.
Soon, conflicting reports were abounding with some claiming that Abu Rahmah had not been involved in the protest, others claiming that she had chronic illnesses which complicated her death and still others claiming that she had a completely clean medical history but that the IDF was using dangerous amounts of especially potent gas.
Left wing-activists stormed the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest her death with reports of police hostility and beatings, while the IDF claimed that an investigation was on hold until the hospital agreed to release her Palestinian medical reports to officials.
Recent investigation by a variety of news sources including Haaretz who spoked to several eye-witnesses as well as family members reveals that Abu Rahmah, who was in fact standing very close to the protestors during the gassing, seems to have been suffering from some heath problem that most likely contributed to her death.
Eye-witness reports suggest that, while there are no medical documents to prove this, Abu Rahmah ‘s family believed she was suffering from an ear infection, why other neighbors claimed she had a disease which caused skin discolorations and dizziness. The suggestion that other medical complications played a part in her death seems to be upheld by the fact that no other protester was severely injured.
It has also become clear that the IDF never claimed that Jawaher Abu Rahmah had died of leukemia, but only suggested the possibility that she was suffering from cancer.