A Palestinian woman has died after Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at a protest in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Correspondent Linda Gradstein visited with the woman's family.
Subhiyye Abu Rahma sits on a bed in her small stone house in the West Bank village of Bil'in. She clutches a pink tissue as dozens of women come to console her.
The Palestinian woman seems to find it hard to believe that her daughter, 35-year-old Jawaher, is dead.
Jawaher was killed this weekend after Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at demonstrators who were protesting the controversial barrier that Israel is building in and around the West Bank.
Subhiyye said she and Jawaher were looking forward to a relative's engagement party Friday night. She said they noticed the weekly demonstration against the separation barrier and started walking towards it.
Soon Sabhiyye said the soldiers began firing tear gas.
Sabhiyye said Jawaher complained of a pain in her chest after the soldiers fired a gas bomb. She said to her mother, ï¿½I have a pain in my chest, I can't breathe,ï¿½ and then, her mother said, she started vomiting.
Jawaher lost consciousness in the ambulance. She died the next morning. Dr. Mohammed Aideh treated her. He said she died of respiratory failure and then cardiac arrest caused by tear gas inhalation.
The doctor said he did not know if Jawaher had a pre-existing condition.
It's the second tragedy to hit the Abu Rahma family in the past 18 months. Jawaher's younger brother, Bassem, was killed in 2009 in a similar demonstration. Walls of this village are now covered with posters of both Bassem and his sister.
Iman Yunus Titi, a friend of the family, came to pay her condolences. ï¿½Jawaher was a babysitter for my twins,ï¿½ she said. ï¿½She was excellent.ï¿½
Titi said that Jawaher never recovered from her brother Bassem's death. Titi remembers what Jawaher told her just a week ago. ï¿½She said, ï¿½I have a dream that I'm walking in paradise and my brother Bassem opens his hand and reaches out to me. He said, ï¿½please come with me to paradise.'
The Israeli army said it's investigating Jawaher's death.
The incident has reopened the issue of the security barrier that Israel has been building since 2002. The construction began during a wave of suicide attacks by Palestinians, who crossed into Israel from the West Bank.
But Palestinians call it a land grab, because parts of the barrier extend into Palestinian territory. For example, it goes through Bil'in.
The barrier cuts this village from about half its farmland. There are weekly demonstrations against the barrier here, and they often turn violent.
More than a dozen Israeli soldiers have been wounded in the protests in the area and activists say 21 Palestinians have been killed. Just over half of the 430-mile barrier has been completed but work has slowed substantially.
Three years ago, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the army to re-route the barrier near Bil'in to enable the villagers to reach their land. Residents here say they're still waiting.