JERUSALEM, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian woman from a village north of Jerusalem did not die as a result of tear gas fired at protesters during a recent demonstration against what Israel terms the security barrier, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Sunday.
"Our understanding is Abu-Rahma did not die as a result of inhaling tear gas but as a result of aspects of her medical treatment," IDF Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon said, according to an IDF press release. Alon is responsible for the area north of Jerusalem where the disturbances took place.
Outside supporters of the Palestinians' viewpoint, along with local residents, have held sometimes violent protests against the fence for six years. Videos of the event at Bil'in show soldiers firing tear gas to disperse protesters, some of whom can be see hurling firebombs and rocks at troops.
"There is no chance that the gas caused her death. Using tear gas in the way it was used in such an open area, and given the distance where she at which she was standing from the demonstration, there is no chance that her death was caused by the gas," Alon said, adding "today, there is no difference between our understanding of the events and that of the Palestinian (National) Authority's officials."
Opponents of the barrier which in the Bil'in area is a chain link fence, contend that the route cuts villagers off from their farm land, and consider it a "land grab" by Israel.
Israel considers the roughly 700 km barrier as essential for thwarting attacks against Israel emanating from the West Bank, but has changed segments of the route several times as a result of court case brought by opponents.
Alon and Civil Administration chief Brig. Gen. Motti Elmoz, are expected to meet with Palestinian National Authority officials on Sunday to present their findings, The Jerusalem Post reported.