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Palestinian protester dies after weekly protest

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Palestinians say the woman died after inhaling tear gas
  • The Israeli military says the cause of death is under investigation
  • The protests of a security barrier take place every Friday in the West Bank

Jerusalem (CNN) -- A Palestinian woman died after reportedly inhaling tear gas at a weekly protest in the West Bank village of Bil'in, the Israeli military said Saturday.

The woman, Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, suffered from severe asphyxiation and was taken to a hospital in Ramallah, according to a statement issued by Popular Struggle, one of the Palestinian groups that organize the protests.

The Israel Defense Forces statement said the exact circumstances of Rahmah's death were under investigation.

The demonstrations in Bil'in every Friday afternoon are billed as a nonviolent protest against what Israel calls its security barrier and what the Palestinians call the apartheid separation wall.

The barrier separates the villagers from their farmlands. Protesters come from all over the world to support the Palestinian cause.

The Israeli military, however, characterizes the protests as violent and illegal.

According to Popular Struggle, Rahmah was the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was also killed in a Bil'in protest last April.