Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alonYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon expressed "regret" for the death Wednesday of a senior Palestinian Authority official after a confrontation with the IDF, saying the matter was under investigation, according to AFP.

"The incident in which Ziad Abu Ein died is being investigated by the Israel Defense Forces," he said in a statement. "We regret his death."

Abu Ein, 55, a convicted terrorist who previously held the post of PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, died Wednesday of a heart attack during riots against the IDF. 

He was handed a life sentence in Israel in 1982 after being extradited from the US in 1981 over the murder of two Israelis in Tiberias in 1979. Abu Ein planted the explosives which killed the two - Boaz Lahav and David Lankri.

But he never served his life sentence over the callous murders - he was released in the Ahmed Jibril prisoner swap deal in 1985, just three years later.

Arab media claims Abu Ein died after being "beaten" by IDF soldiers, but footage from the event just hours ago proves that he remained untouched during his heart attack - and refused IDF assistance that could have been life-saving. 

The international community has rushed to condemn the death on that basis, and called for immediate investigation into the incident.