Three killed in West Bank clashes
on 26/08/2013 09:17:28
The violence came as Israel and the Palestinians are holding rounds of peace talks in the first such meetings in five years since serious negotiations collapsed.
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.
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.
Israeli border police said officers were on a raid to arrest a suspect when hundreds of Palestinians poured into the streets and hurled firebombs, concrete blocks and stones at them.
He said officers used riot control munitions, a term that usually refers to rubber bullets and tear gas.
The Israeli military said soldiers went to the scene after a different force came under attack. It said they 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 a military spokesman.
Hatim Khatib, whose brother Youssef was arrested in the raid, said undercover troops dressed in civilian clothes arrived at their home at 4.30am. looking for his 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.
He said he did not know why his brother was arrested but said he had been jailed for throwing stones and was released three years ago.