Palestinians cancel peace talks after deadly clash

Monday, August 26, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

The Palestinian Authority canceled Monday evening's session with Israeli peace negotiators in response to a deadly clash between Israeli soldiers and a violent Palestinian mob earlier in the day.

In a fairly routine operation, Israeli Border Police officers dressed in civilian clothing entered the Palestinian town of Qalandiya just north of Jerusalem to arrest a wanted terror suspect.

Just moments after the officers arrived at the suspect's home, a mob numbering at least 1,500 poured into the streets and began hurling firebombs and stones at the Israelis.

The Border Police officers responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, but were beginning to be overwhelmed when IDF soldiers arrived to back them up. The soldiers resorted to live fire as the situation spun out of control.

"Large violent crowds such as this which significantly outnumber security forces leave no other choice but to resort to live fire in self-defense," an IDF spokesman said in a statement to the press.

Three Palestinian rioters reportedly died of gunshot wounds during the clash.

The riots subsided for several hours, but resumed as Palestinians again took to the streets Monday afternoon for the raucous funeral procession of the three deceased men.

Palestinian Authority officials, who view such mob activity as "peaceful protest," accused Israel of "assassinating" the rioters.

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