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PA slams Israel on settlers; says Palestinians killed 'in cold blood'

Oct. 16, 2008 10:17 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 16, 2008 10:17 P.M.)
Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority (PA) is furious that Israeli soldiers shot to death three Palestinians in as many days, according to a statement from the government's official spokesperson on Thursday.

PA official Riyadh Al-Maliki denounced the bloodshed at Al-Jalazoun Refugee Camp and the village of Kafr Malik in the West Bank over the past 72 hours, saying Israel gunned down three Palestinians "in cold blood."

"Targeting our young men is the least effective method of protecting their settlers, who rarely miss an opportunity to attack unarmed Palestinians," he said.

Al-Maliki called the killings "unjustified," saying they occurred "without pretext, but with baseless excuses."

"Especially given that these young Palestinians have to walk in front of their homes, parts of which have been confiscated for settlements or are directly next to them, surrounding [Palestinians]. And all the while the settlers inside continue to attack them," he added.

He held the Israeli government responsible for disturbing the security situation in the Palestinian territories, "particularly after the success of the PA and its security plan" in areas where forces have recently been deployed.

Al-Maliki announced that the ministries of foreign affairs and information would initiate media and diplomatic campaigns aimed at "uncovering Israeli terrorism."

Settler campaigns of "attacks and vandalism" against Palestinians, especially when they are protected by the Israeli army, is a "grotesque crime against human beings," he insisted.

"This is proof that the Israeli policy, whether by Israeli government or Israeli settlers amounts to ethnic cleansing," he claimed, and is at heart a plan aimed at removing Palestinians from "their homes and their lands."

The spokesperson called on members of diplomatic missions to the PA to inform their respective governments of what is happening in Palestine, with particular emphasis on "Israeli settlers and acts of military escalation."

He also reassured farmers that the PA "will spare none its resources" to protect Palestinian villagers during the rest of the olive harvest.
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