Palestinians suspend peace talks with Israel

Three Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli soldiers who stormed the Qalandya refugee camp in Ramallah.

Updated: Aug 27, 2013, 09:52 AM IST

Ramallah: The Palestinians have officially suspended the direct peace talks with Israel to protest against killing of three Palestinians on Monday, Xinhua reported.

The Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli soldiers who stormed the Qalandya refugee camp in Ramallah.

Hours after the incident, Yasser Abed Rabbo, an official of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), announced that the Palestinian side decided to call off the fourth round of direct peace negotiations scheduled to be held on Monday in the West Bank town of Jericho.

"We decided not to go to the scheduled round of talks today (Monday) in protest of killing three Palestinian young men in Qalandya," Abed Rabbo said.

"The ongoing Israeli escalation of violence against our people can`t be justified and it only aims at toppling the efforts to resume the peace negotiations," he added.

The killing of a Palestinian young man in Jenin last week and the killing of three young men near Ramallah on Monday outraged many Palestinians, mainly those who are against resumption of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

A Palestinian source said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed a strong letter of protest to the US administration against the Israeli violations in the West Bank.

"President Abbas urged the United States to immediately intervene to avoid more violent consequences among the populations in the West Bank," said the source who did not wish to be identified.

The bodies of the three Palestinian young men who were shot dead by the Israeli soldiers were buried in a cemetery near Ramallah.

Outraged mourners raised slogans of revenge and demanded that the peace talks with Israel be not resumed.

Witnesses said that residents of the Qalandya refugee camp pelted stones and empty glass bottles at the Israeli forces and the Israeli troops responded with live ammunition.

Ahmed Al-Bitawy, the director of Palestine Medical Centre in Ramallah, said that Robin Fares, 30, was killed with a gunshot in the chest and the other two teenagers died of head injuries. He added that four more wounded people were in critical condition.