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Tags: israel | palestinians | strain | talks

Israeli Troops Kill Two Palestinians as Violence Strains Talks

Thursday, 19 December 2013 06:58 AM

JERUSALEM — The fatal shootings of two Palestinians by Israeli troops during West Bank arrest raids early Thursday has put added pressure on U.S.-brokered peace talks already under strain by construction in Jewish settlements.

A 22-year-old Palestinian man was killed in the city of Jenin, and a 24-year-old who worked for the Palestinian security services died of wounds sustained in a clash near Qalqilyah early Thursday, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency said.

In both instances, Israeli forces were pursuing suspected militants and returned fire after encountering resistance, an Israeli army spokesman said, speaking anonymously in accordance with military regulations.

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A statement issued by the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned “the Israeli crimes.”

“This Israeli aggression is intended to undermine the peace efforts the United States and the international community are making so negotiations will deadlock,” the statement said. Seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank in the last two months, according to the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs.

Israeli Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Danon said Thursday security forces are acting continuously in the West Bank to defend Israeli civilians against attacks.

“I wouldn’t say this is an escalation. These type of operations are being carried every day, and most of the time we don’t hear about it,” Danon said on Army Radio.

FRAMEWORK DEAL POSSIBLE

Palestinian chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters Wednesday that Israeli violence, along with continued construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem on territory the Palestinians claim for a future state, is undermining the peace talks the United States initiated in July.

Despite these tensions, Erekat said it was still possible to reach a framework agreement that would enable the talks to continue beyond the current April 29 deadline toward a final deal.

“Once you reach the framework agreement,” he said, “you need six to 12 months in the best case” to reach a comprehensive treaty.

Erekat voiced concern that Israel would announce new settlement construction in tandem with the scheduled Dec. 29 freeing of Palestinian security prisoners from Israeli jails, as it did in two prior releases it consented to carry out to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of his Likud-Beitenu faction in Tel Aviv Wednesday that he would not halt settlement building, which the United States and European Union have condemned as hurting chances to reach a peace deal.

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“We are not stopping, not for a moment, building up our homeland, developing settlements,” Netanyahu said. “The reason there is no peace is the opposition to a Jewish state, within any borders whatsoever.”



© Copyright 2022 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


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The fatal shootings of two Palestinians by Israeli troops during West Bank arrest raids early Thursday has put added pressure on U.S.-brokered peace talks already under strain by construction in Jewish settlements.
israel,palestinians,strain,talks
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2013-58-19
Thursday, 19 December 2013 06:58 AM
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