Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians Monday during clashes outside Jerusalem.
The Palestinian official says the Palestinians decided to postpone Monday’s meeting to protest the killings. He says the Palestinians are also upset about an Israeli announcement on Sunday pushing forward with new settlement construction in east Jerusalem.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, had said in a statement earlier that the incident would have a “negative” impact on talks and called on the US to intervene.
It was not immediately known when peace talks would resume.
Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians in clashes during an arrest raid in the West Bank, a Palestinian official and the Israeli military said Monday, in the deadliest incident in the area in years.
An official at a Ramallah hospital said the three died from gunshot wounds sustained in the nearby refugee camp of Qalandia. More than a dozen others were wounded, he said, speaking anonymously as he wasn’t allowed to talk with the media.
Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah condemned the incident. “Such a crime proves the need for an urgent and effective international protection for our people,” he said in a statement.
Israeli border police spokesman Shai Hakimi said officers were on a raid to apprehend a suspect when hundreds of Palestinians poured into the streets and hurled firebombs, concrete blocks and rocks at the officers.
He said officers used riot control munitions, a term that usually refers to rubber bullets and tear gas. He said police are investigating the incident.
The Israeli military said soldiers rushed to the scene after a different force came under attack. It said soldiers opened fire after they felt their lives were in “imminent danger.”
“Large violent crowds such as this which significantly outnumber security forces leave no other choice but to resort to live fire in self-defense,” said military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.
Hatim Khatib, whose brother Youssef was arrested in the raid, told The Associated Press that undercover troops dressed in civilian clothes arrived at their home at 4:30 am looking for the brother.
“After half an hour we started hearing shooting from the soldiers inside our house, and then people started throwing stones at them,” he said.
Youssef was arrested after he returned from morning prayers at 7.00 am, he said.
He said he didn’t know why his brother was the only one arrested but said Youssef had spent time in Israeli jail for throwing rocks and was released three years ago. The Israeli military would not elaborate as to why he was wanted.