Palestinians cancel peace talks with Israel over death of three in West Bank
Palestinian Authority officials said Monday that the upcoming peace talks with the Israelis, scheduled to take place in Jericho, have been cancelled in response to Israeli soldiers killing three Palestinians in the West bank Qalandiya refugee camp.
"The meeting that was to take place in Jericho... was cancelled because of the Israeli crime committed in Qalandiya today," the official told AFP under the condition of anonymity.
Earlier on Monday, a pre-dawn raid carried out on the refugee camp near Jerusalem resulted in the deaths of three Palestinian men at the hands of Israeli soliders.
An Israeli police spokesman said a clash between the two sides erupted when border police carrying out an arrest raid on a suspected 'militant' were confronted by Palestinians who threw firebombs and rocks at them. The incident was being investigated, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told reporters.
It was not clear if the Israeli forces made any arrests.
Jerusalem correspondent for British-based The Guardian newspaper Harriet Sherwood tweeted that the funeral for the three dead Palestinians was one of the biggest held for five years, and was marked by tyre burning and gunshots.
She reports that one of the Palestinian men was "shot in the chest as he tried to go to work".
Israel and the Palestinians resumed US-sponsored peace talks after a three-year breakdown in Jerusalem last month, though neither side has expressed much optimism for a major breakthrough, Reuters reported.
Violence in the West Bank has worsened since the beginning of 2013. Israeli forces have killed 13 Palestinians there this year, most of them in clashes, compared with three killed in the same period in 2012, according to United Nations figures.