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Tuesday, 27 August 2013 00:00

Killings put brakes on fresh peace talks

by Our Foreign Desk

Palestine scrapped peace talks today after Israeli soldiers killed three protesters during clashes at a West Bank refugee camp.

Palestinian officials said that they might begin again soon but gave no date.

Israeli forces shot dead three Palestinians and wounded 19 others during a raid on the West Bank's Qalandiya refugee camp.

Hospital officials said that Rubeen Abed Fares and Yunis Jahjouh were both shot in the chest and Jihad Aslan died of brain damage.

They also confirmed that all the casualties had been hit by live ammunition.

But Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri claimed that border police only used "riot dispersal means" to break up a stone-throwing crowd of 1,500 people and would not confirm any deaths or the use of live fire.

"In the early hours of the morning a border police team went into Qalandiya camp to arrest a hostile terrorist activist," she said.

A "mob" then began throwing petrol bombs and stones at the soldiers, she said, adding that three border police were slightly injured during the clashes.

"What happened today in Qalandiya shows the real intentions of the Israeli government," said Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina for President Mahmoud Abbas.

"The daily killings and ongoing settlement activity are all Israeli messages that aim to destroy the peace process."

He called on the US government to "take serious and quick steps" to prevent the collapse of peace efforts.

Israeli security forces launched the raid in spite of peace talks that were formally resumed this month after a hiatus of nearly three years.

The US-brokered talks have been dogged by Israeli determination to continue building settlements on disputed land and to allow no pause in its military suppression of the Palestinians.

Jerusalem city council's finance committee approved a budget of £11.1 million on Sunday for infrastructure work at the Ramat Shlomo settlement.

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