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'Itamar killings carried out by foreign worker'
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
03/14/2011
News sites affiliated with PA cast doubt about Israeli claims that Palestinains were behind killings, says IDF arrested Thai worker.
 
A number of news Web sites that are affiliated with the Palestinian Authority claimed on Monday that the Itamar killings were committed by a foreign worker who was employed in the settlement.

PA-controlled media outlets also highlighted the story and continued to cast doubt about Israeli claims that Palestinians were behind the killings.

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The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an, which is close to the PA leadership, ran a lead news story that claimed that a Thai worker had been arrested by the IDF on suspicion of killing the five members of the Fogel family on Friday night.

The agency did not say how it obtained the information. However, it said that shortly after the killings, Israeli security forces arrested all the Thai workers who were inside the settlement.

Ma’an pointed out that no Palestinian group had claimed responsibility for the attack and that Palestinians were banned from entering settlements.

Another Palestinian news agency, Qudsnet, claimed that an Asian man who used to work for the Fogel family was behind the killings.

Quoting a Palestinian family living in the nearby village of Awarta, the agency said that the family members were slaughtered because the father refused to pay the Asian worker his salary, which is estimated at 10,000 Shekels.

The latest claims came as PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in an interview with Kol Yisrael, condemned the Itamar killings as “despicable, immoral and inhuman.”

Abbas said that a “human being is not capable of something like that.” He said that had the PA had advance information, “we would have prevented this.”

Offering to help Israel in the investigation, Abbas rejected accusations of incitement and said he was prepared to be part of an Israeli-American-Palestinian committee to look into the allegations.
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