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US calls on Israelis, PA to exercise restraint
By REUTERS AND JPOST.COM STAFF
26/02/2013
Riots follow funeral of Palestinian detainee; Egyptian FM urges int'l community to take stance against Israel's "inhuman practices."
 
In the wake of continued riots in the West Bank, the United States on Tuesday urged both the Palestinians and the Israelis not only to "refrain from provocative actions," but also to consider "positive steps to reestablish trust and deescalate the current tensions."

Deputy State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said: "We call on Israelis and Palestinians to exercise maximum restraint as the situation on the West Bank remains tense."

Following the autopsy of Palestinian detainee Arafat Jaradat, Ventrall said the US "expect[s] all parties to consider the results of the autopsy calmly and without inflammatory rhetoric."

He stated that the US understands Israel is "looking into this very carefully," adding that Israel and the United States are in discussion over the broader issue of hunger strikes and administrative detention.

In response to a question probing the deputy spokesman on "putting the onus" on the Palestinians to not react to the death of a prisoner, Ventrell responded to say the US is pressing both sides to exercise restraint, "calmly and without inflammatory rhetoric."

Meanwhile, Robert Serry, the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, on Monday called for "an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. [Arafat] Jaradat's death, the results of which should be made public as soon as possible".

"The United Nations is closely monitoring the situation on the ground where mounting tensions present a real risk of destabilization," Serry's office said in a statement.

Earlier Monday, Egypt condemned Israeli policies concerning Palestinian prisoners in light of the death of Palestinian prisoner Jadarat in Israeli custody over the weekend, Kuwait News Agency KUNA reported.

In a press release, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr warned that the continuation of Israeli policies will lead to an explosion of the situation in the region, according to the report.

KUNA cited Amr as saying he holds Israel responsible for any deterioration of the situation and calling on the international community to take a firm stance against Israel's "inhuman practices against the Palestinian prisoners.”

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