The UN Security Council has called for a “swift and transparent investigation” after a Palestinian minister died during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers.
The Palestinian leadership blamed Israel for the “killing” of 55-year-old Ziad Abu Ein, after an Israeli border policeman shoved and grabbed him by the throat during a protest in the occupied West Bank.
A statement issued late on Friday said the Security Council “encouraged the parties to ensure that a swift and transparent investigation is undertaken” into the incident.
“Council members took note of the willingness of the government of Israel to conduct a joint investigation into the incident,” the statement read.
“The members of the Security Council called on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to refrain from steps that could further destabilise the situation.”
Abu Ein, was among scores of activists confronted by Israeli security forces at a checkpoint while heading to a demonstration against Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Around 30 Israeli soldiers and border policemen fired tear gas and sound grenades at the group and a scuffle ensued in which a border policeman pushed Abu Ein and grabbed his neck firmly with one hand.
Minutes later the minister began to look faint and fell to the ground clasping his chest.
He died on the way to hospital.
Israeli authorities say an investigation has been launched and called for calm amid speculation that the Palestinian Authority would suspend security coordination with Israel in the West Bank.
The incident comes at a time of heightened tension between Israel and the Palestinians, following months of violent unrest in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.