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Deadly clash ends Middle East talks

Planned peace talks between Israel and Palestinians have been called off following a deadly clash in the West Bank.

Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians in clashes outside Jerusalem.

A Palestinian official said they decided to postpone the meeting to protest at the killings. He said the Palestinians were also upset about an Israeli announcement on Sunday pushing forward with new settlement construction in east Jerusalem. It was not known when peace talks would resume.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah condemned the incident. "Such a crime proves the need for an urgent and effective international protection for our people," he said.

Israeli border police said officers were on a raid to arrest a suspect when hundreds of Palestinians poured into the streets and hurled firebombs, concrete blocks and stones at them.

A spokesman said officers used riot control munitions, a term that usually refers to rubber bullets and tear gas.

The Israeli military said soldiers went to the scene after a different force came under attack. It said they opened fire after they felt their lives were in "imminent danger."

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

Hatim Khatib, whose brother Youssef was arrested in the raid, said undercover troops dressed in civilian clothes arrived at their home at 4.30am. looking for his brother.

"After half an hour we started hearing shooting from the soldiers inside our house, and then people started throwing stones at them," he said. Youssef was arrested after he returned from morning prayers.


From Belfast Telegraph