Peace process under threat as Israeli soldiers kill three Palestinian protesters in West Bank

Troops killed three in operation to ‘apprehend suspected arms dealer’ after hundreds riot

Qalandia Refugee Camp

Palestinian negotiators said they had called off the latest round of peace talks with Israel today after Israeli troops killed three Palestinians and wounded 16 others during a raid in the heart of Qalandia Refugee Camp.

It was the most serious single incident since US-brokered Middle East peace talks resumed earlier this month after more than three years of stalemate. Palestinian leaders condemned the act as “excessive and indiscriminate violence” and a “crime”, while Israel said the operation early yesterday was necessary to apprehend a Palestinian suspected of arms dealing. Among those killed was Rubin Abdul Rahman Zayyed, 32, a father of four who worked for  the United Nations Relief and  Works Agency.

Palestinian officials, who asked for anonymity, said that a session of peace talks scheduled to take place in the West Bank town of Jericho yesterday was cancelled because of the deaths. But Israeli officials disputed this, saying that no talks had been planned for yesterday.

Residents of the camp, which is located just outside Jerusalem and home to about 10,000 refugees said  yesterday’s operation began around 4:30am local time, when Israeli undercover troops came to arrest Yusuf Khatib, a 25 year-old resident.

Lt-Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman, confirmed that Mr Khatib had been wanted on suspicion of arms dealing and said a “large riot” involving hundreds of Palestinians ensued with many throwing rocks and cement blocks. “Live fire was used only after soldiers felt their self defence required it,” he said. “With the great numbers of people and the way the situation developed forces felt there was no choice but to use live fire.”

Palestinians disputed this version of events on Monday. Mr Zayyed’s father, Abdul-Rahman Hussein Zayyed, 74, said his son was on his way to work at 7am when he was shot. Lt-Colonel Lerner denied allegations that shots were fired indiscriminately. “The people targeted were involved in the violence,” he said.

Gunshots and chants of, “Oh martyr, we take up the path after you”, could be heard resonating through the Qalandia camp yesterday afternoon, as mourners carried Mr  Zayyed’s corpse on a stretcher to the mosque. He was wrapped in a green, red, white and black Palestinian flag, his head draped in a black-and-white keffiyeh head scarf.

The violence on Monday morning put Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian advocates of negotiation with the Jewish state even further on the defensive. Their case for talks has also been harmed in the eyes of Palestinians by a spate of plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to expand Israeli settlements on occupied territory.

“They are using terrorism against us and we must resist with all means,” Mohammed Hafi, 19, a student, said while standing opposite the house of Jihad Aslan, 21, who was also killed in the raid. “The resistance decision is the only decision, the only way.”

Yunis Jahjouh, 22, was identified as the third Palestinian killed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Barnardo's: Corporate Audit and Inspection – Retail Intern (Leeds)

Unpaid - £4 lunch allowance plus travel to and from work: Barnardo's: Purpose ...

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Receptionist

£15000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future