Peace Talks Cut Off by Palestinians

Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in a raid of a refugee district in the West Bank. That prompted the leadership of the Palestinians to cancel peace talks sponsored by the U.S. scheduled for Monday, which highlighted how fragile the negotiations have become.

A number of observers believe this will create just a short impasse and that Mahmoud Abbas the Palestinian President will return shortly to negotiate.

However, the risk remains that continued clashes along with fatalities might tip the opinion, which is split, amongst Palestinians to stop negotiations. The negotiations only started last month after a being suspended for many years amidst broad skepticism over their success.

One diplomatic official representing the Palestinians said no talks would be held, adding that the leadership of the Palestinians was considering an indefinite suspension of the talks. The spokesperson said how could someone negotiate if their people were being killed.

The foreign ministry for Israel referred all questions to lead negotiator Tzipi Livni about the talks.

A deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said the loss of life was regrettable, but urged both sides to use restraint. The spokesperson continued by saying the U.S. felt it was imperative the negotiations continued despite incidents of this type, taking place.

The three deaths came during an incursion prior to dawn by Israeli forces in the refugee district of Qalandiya between Jerusalem and Ramallah. The forces were there to arrest one of the Palestinians that the military in Israel said was a terror operative.

During that process, the Israeli military said troops became surrounded by hundreds of angry people who threw rocks and cement blocks at them.

Israel did not release information on any possible injuries to their military personnel. The first military unit was helped when backup forces arrived. Worried for their own lives, soldiers fired into the angry crowds.

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