Peace talks suspended after fatal clash near Ramallah

Palestinians in the West Bank carry the body of one of three men killed during clashes with IDF  troops (Photo: Getty Images)

Palestinians in the West Bank carry the body of one of three men killed during clashes with IDF troops (Photo: Getty Images)

A botched arrest operation near Ramallah this week led to the highest number of casualties in Israeli-Palestinian clashes in the West Bank for over a year and caused the suspension of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The arrest of an arms dealer in the Kalandia refugee camp was carried out by the Israeli Border Police’s undercover unit in the early hours of Monday.

Following the arrest, a large number of Palestinian civilians surrounded one of the teams that was carrying out the operation, and threw stones and rocks at them.

A larger IDF force arrived on the scene and used live fire to extricate the team. Three Palestinian civilians were killed and 15 injured.

Dozens of similar arrests are carried out each week in the West Bank and they often lead to violent confrontations.

Another civilian was killed during a similar incident last week in Jenin and, since the beginning of 2013, 13 Palestinian citizens have been killed in clashes with the IDF and Border Police.

Local Palestinians claimed that they were only throwing stones, while the IDF spokesman responded that the unit came under live fire and that the Palestinians also used improvised explosive devices. One of the patrol jeeps had bullet holes in it.

Meanwhile, the PA announced that due to the three deaths, it was cancelling that day’s scheduled round of talks in Jericho. The US State Department later announced that the talks were still ongoing.

Last updated: 5:45pm, August 29 2013