Thousands of mourners attend a Palestinian state funeral for a minister who died after being hit by an Israeli policeman, amid a dispute between Palestinian and Israeli officials over the cause of his death. Mana Rabiee reports.
At the Presidential compound in Ramallah ... thousands gather for a final goodbye to a Palestinian statesman. Minister Ziad Abu Ein was killed on Wednesday when an Israeli border patrolman struck him in the neck. It happened during a standoff at a small village in the occupied West Bank … where Abu Ein and about a hundred others had come to plant olive trees in protest of Jewish settlements. On the streets of Ramallah… the mood is somber. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RAMALLAH CITIZEN, OSAMA SAMI, SAYING: (AUDIO AS INCOMING) "They keep killing us and as you can see how they have killed the martyr Abu Ein. They keep us under siege." Autopsy reports from both Palestinian and Israeli pathologists say the Minister died of a heart blockage caused by hemorrhaging. But that's where their agreement largely ends. The Palestinian doctor says the bleeding was caused by an injury ... His Israeli counterpart says it was likely brought on by stress. Abu Ein had served a life sentence in an Israeli jail over a 1979 bombing that killed two Israeli youths. He was released in a prisoner exchange in 1985. And now, his death is likely to further heighten tensions between Israel and the Palestinians following months of violent unrest.