Singapore says it is deeply saddened by death of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein

Relatives of senior Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein mourn over his body before the funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Relatives of senior Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein mourn over his body before the funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Palestinian security members drive with the coffin of senior Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein during his funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Palestinian security members drive with the coffin of senior Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein during his funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec 11, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds up a picture of senior Palestinian offical Ziad Abu Ein a in a confrontation with an Israeli security member during a leadership meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds up a picture of senior Palestinian offical Ziad Abu Ein a in a confrontation with an Israeli security member during a leadership meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Palestinian man carries a poster bearing the portrait of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ain, after the announcement of his death outside the main hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Palestinian man carries a poster bearing the portrait of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ain, after the announcement of his death outside the main hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Dec 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

Singapore has said it is deeply saddened by the death of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein.

The 55-year-old minister died on Wednesday after being grabbed by the neck by an Israeli policeman at a West Bank protest, an incident that has raised tensions between the Palestinians and Israel.

"Singapore is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Minister Ziad Abu Ein. Our condolences go out to the family of Minister Abu Ein and the Palestinian people," Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Thursday.

"We are very concerned about media reports of excessive use of force by Israeli security personnel. There is a need for a transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Minister Abu Ein's death.

"We also urge all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid escalating tensions. This tragedy underscores the urgent need for Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations towards a lasting and durable peace," the MFA statement said.

Abu Ein had been among about 100 people protesting against a Jewish settlement by planting olive trees in a village when Israeli soldiers and border policemen fired tear gas and sound grenades, Reuters reported.

A scuffle ensued in which a border policeman pushed Abu Ein and grabbed his neck with one hand, said the news agency.

A senior Palestinian official, Hussein al-Sheikh, said that Abu Ein had died from "being struck, inhaling tear gas and a delay in providing medical attention".

Thousands of mourners turned out on Thursday for a Palestinian state funeral for the minister.