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PFLP vows revenge, PA condemns Birzeit 'assassination'

Feb. 27, 2014 9:16 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 28, 2014 6:55 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said in a statement on Thursday that it will respond to Israeli forces' killing of an activist affiliated with the group during an arrest raid earlier in the day.

The PFLP and its military wing Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades said that the "response is undoubtedly coming," vowing to "continue to resist until the occupation is removed from all Palestinian soil."

The statement comes hours after Muatazz Washaha, 24, was killed following a stand-off with Israeli forces in the central West Bank village of Birzeit.

The PFLP also called upon the Palestinian Authority to end security coordination with Israel, and to "return to the Palestinian people."

The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, condemned the "assassination" in a statement on Thursday and demanded the "provision of international protection to the Palestinian People," arguing that the "crime marks further escalation and an addition to the daily killing practiced by the Israeli occupation against Palestinians."

The statement argued the killing was "deliberate," highlighting that Israeli forces had surrounded the house, evacuated residents, and then shelled the house, knowing Washaha was inside.

The statement said that such actions "undermine peace efforts" and confirm that "the Israeli government is constantly seeking to foil these efforts."

Muatazz Washaha was killed in a dawn raid on the central West Bank village of Birzeit after Israeli forces surrounded and shelled his home.

Israeli forces stormed the house and detained his brother, Ramiz Washaha, as well as Fadi Sedqi and Samir al-Qaisi, during the raid. No shots were fired at any point from within the house during the hours-long standoff.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the raid was carried out to arrest an individual suspected of involvement in "terror activity."

Israeli forces have killed 40 Palestinians since the beginning of US-backed negotiations with Israel.

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