Palestinian Authority: Israel's escalation will have disastrous consequences

Abbas's spokesman warns Israel of repercussions of "continuous raids on al-Aksa Mosque, daily killings of Palestinian civilians and continued settlement construction."

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
July 27, 2015 13:41
2 minute read.
Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of escalating tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Monday, warning that Israel's actions were liable to bring about disastrous consequences.

The comments came after three Palestinians were killed in Israeli arrest raids in the West Bank in the past week and clashes occurred between Border Police and Palestinian rioters at the al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount on Sunday.

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Nabil Rudineh, the spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said that "continuous raids on al-Aksa Mosque, daily killings of Palestinian civilians and continued settlement construction will force the Palestinian leadership to make fateful decisions."

In a statement carried by the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, Abu Rudineh said that "Israel's continued attempts to torpedo every effort to maintain stability, or renew peace talks, will bring disastrous results."

Abu Rudeineh's comments came after 19-year-old Mohammed Abu Latifa was killed during a raid by Israeli security forces in the Kalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem early Monday morning. Border Police said that Latifa was killed while trying to flee from officers who had come to arrest him for allegedly planning a terror attack. According to a Border Police spokeswoman, he ignored officers' orders to halt and climbed onto a rooftop where police shot him in the lower body to stop him.
Mourners march in funeral for Palestinian who fell to death while fleeing arrest

"Nonetheless, the wanted man continued fleeing, and when he tried to move to another roof, he tripped and fell, and was fatally injured as a result," the police spokesperson said.

However, Shahdi Awad, who lives in a neighboring building and who said he saw the incident, told Reuters that Abu Latifa was shot dead and had not fallen off the roof.

"He was shot repeatedly on the rooftop, and that's where he stayed until the soldiers came and took down the body," he said.

Following Abu Latifa's death, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah called on the European Union to act to stop "the Israeli escalation in killing of Palestinian civilians and the damage to al-Aksa Mosque and other Palestinian holy sites."

The PA's Foreign Ministry also condemned what it referred to as "the cold-blooded execution of Abu Latifa, yet another crime of the occupation." It accused Israel of "continuing on a path of violence and attempting to bring the Palestinians into this arena in order to prevent the renewal of peace talks and to torpedo the international attempts to relaunch negotiations."

The Palestine Liberation Organization said in a statement that "the assassination of the youth in the Kalandiya refugee camp was carried out in order to divert attention from what Israel is doing at al-Aksa Mosque."

The PLO rejected Israel's version of events that Abu Latifa had fallen to his death, stating that "he was shot in the chest from point-blank range four times."

Reuters contributed to this report.


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