The Palestinians have reacted to a deadly clash between civilians and Israeli security forces by calling off scheduled peace talks. Three people were killed and several others wounded in the incident in the West Bank.
The decision to call off Monday's negotiations came shortly after the news began to emerge of the clashes in the Qalandiya refugee camp, in which Israeli security forces shot dead three Palestinians. Nineteen others were wounded.
"The meeting that was to take place in Jericho ... today was cancelled because of the Israeli crime committed in Qalandiya today," Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the AFP news agency. "What happened today in Qalandiya shows the real intentions of the Israeli government."
Witnesses said the violence broke out after Israeli soldiers entered the camp in the early hours of Monday to arrest a suspected Palestinian militant. Around 1,500 Palestinians took to the streets and began throwing stones and firebombs at the Israeli troops, who then responded with "riot dispersal means," according to Israeli police spokesperson Luba Samri.
The three Palestinians who died were buried later in the day, in which militant groups featured prominently, with some firing their weapons into the air during the procession (pictured above).
Settlement activity continues
The Palestinians are also annoyed about ongoing settlement construction activity on land they want for a future state.
On Sunday, Jerusalem city council approved funding for infrastructure work at the planned new settlement of Rama Shlomo in east Jerusalem.
The settlements, built on land Israel seized by Israel during the 1967 war, are regarded by most of the international community as illegal.
Monday's peace negotiating session would have been the fourth since US Secretary of State John Kerry's intense shuttle diplomacy got the two sides back to the table, earlier this summer, despite Israel's refusal to halt all settlement activity, something the Palestinians had long made a pre-condition for talks.
No date has been set for a resumption of negotiations.
pfd/msh (AFP, AP, dpa)