Thursday, January 20, 2011

IDF: Bil'in Protester Died of Medical Malpractice

by Yaakov Katz

Jawaher Abu Rahma, the woman who Palestinians claimed died in late December as a result of breathing IDF-fired tear gas during an anti-security barrier demonstration near Bil’in, died from the medical treatment she received at a Ramallah hospital, an IDF probe into the incident has concluded.

Abu Rahma, IDF sources said on Saturday, did not participate in the demonstration but was inside a house about 500 meters away. She was, however, evacuated to a hospital in Ramallah later in the day and treated for an ailment whose nature remained unclear.

“According to our findings, Abu Rahma died as a result of the medical treatment,” a source in the Central Command said Wednesday.

Medical documents obtained by the IDF show that Abu Rahma received unusually high doses of atropine, a medicine that is commonly used as an antidote to agents such as nerve gas. Israeli gas mask kits used to be distributed to the public with atropine shots inside.

According to the IDF’s findings, Abu Rahma died of complications from medical treatment that had not been connected to tear gas.

The IDF also uncovered documentation indicating that Abu Rahma may have been suffering from cancer and had been hospitalized several weeks before her death.

The IDF probe included an analysis of the demonstration and involved experts from the IDF Medical Corps who examined documents received from the Palestinians.

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Yaakov Katz

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