Palestine Halts Peace Talks After Israeli Forces Kill Three in Raid
It looks like peace talks between Israel and Palestine are at a standstill for now.
On Monday, Palestine reportedly called off the latest round of negotiations between the two adversaries after Israeli police killed three protestors.
The clash took place in the contested West Bank after Israeli soldiers conducted an arrest raid at the Qalandia refugee camp near Jerusalem. According to reports from the paramilitary border police, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets during the raid, hurling everything from rocks to firebombs at the soldiers, making them fear for their lives. Soldiers then opened fire on the crowd killing three and leaving dozens of others wounded.
Residents tell a conflicting story, saying that crowds did not start throwing rocks at the plain-clothes soldiers until after Israeli forces opened fire.
The clashes mark the deadliest confrontation in the area in years and left the Palestinian prime minister calling for support for his people.
"Such a crime proves the need for an urgent and effective international protection for our people," Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said in a statement. Soon after, Palestinian officials called off the next round of peace talks in protest of Monday's violence and Israel's decision to move forward with building homes on the disputed territory of east Jerusalem.
Israel announced plans for a massive building effort in the area shortly after it agreed to a Palestinian prisoner release as a condition to move peace talks forward. Monday's violence proved the last straw in several events that seemed to threaten the progress of peace talks.
The most recent rounds of negotiations between Palestine and Israel are a part of an agreement brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and follow a five-year stalemate in peace talks.
Monday's delay doesn't necessarily mean that talks are over for good. According to reports from the Associated Press, the two sides may continue talks as soon as Tuesday.