Ziad Abu Ein in previous clash.
Ziad Abu Ein in previous clash. Reuters

The IDF will be on high alert in Judea and Samaria on Thursday, in anticipation of riots by Palestinian Arabs during the funeral of Ziad Abu Ein, a senior Palestinian Authority official who died Wednesday of a heart attack during riots against the IDF.

As part of the preparations for the funeral, the IDF will send reinforcements to the region. The decision to do so was made in light of intelligence information that was received indicating that Arabs are planning riots.

Abu Ein, 55, was a convicted terrorist who previously held the post of PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs. Arab media claimed Abu Ein died after being "beaten" by IDF soldiers, but footage from the event proves that he remained untouched during his heart attack - and refused IDF assistance that could have been life-saving. 

He was handed a life sentence in Israel in 1982 after being extradited from the United States 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.

The UN special envoy for the Middle East Peace process, Robert Serry, urged Israel to conduct a "prompt, thorough and transparent investigation" into Abu Ein’s death.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon added that he was "deeply saddened" by the "brutal death" of Abu Ein.

Both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas have responded with outrage. Hamas issued a statement mourning Abu Ein's death, saying "the time has come to rally all our forces in facing the criminal Zionist occupation and stop all sorts of security coordination with the occupation". The PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki called for revenge, saying "Israel will pay."