Israel suspends security efforts with Palestinians
Move comes after 3 settlers slain
Israeli paramedics and soldiers pray at the scene of a shooting attack at the Gush Etzion junction.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel suspended security coordination with the Palestinians on Monday, an Israeli official said, following the killings of three Israeli settlers by Palestinians Sunday.
The official said that until the Palestinians take real and active steps to fight terrorism, there is nothing to talk about.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told CNN the suspension of security contacts was the wrong decision and called it "unfortunate."
"Those who plan these attacks want to undermine the contacts and [the] hope that has been developing in the minds of Israelis and Palestinians," he said in a telephone interview.
"I urge the Israelis to understand that we need to continue talking. I also urge the good office of President Bush to exert every possible effort to resume the contacts," Erakat added.
Israeli security sources said the Israeli government is also taking other measures in the wake of the settlers' slayings.
Palestinian cars will not be allowed to travel on some main roads in the West Bank, the sources said, and cordons will be placed around Bethlehem and Hebron.
Arrest operations will also continue, the security sources said.
The three settlers were killed and five others were wounded in two shootings Sunday in the West Bank, Israeli medical services and security sources said.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for both shootings. The group is a militant offshoot of Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority.
One shooting took place at Gush Etzion junction, an area of Jewish settlements. A group of Palestinians opened fire on Israelis standing at a hitchhiking post, killing three and wounding four, Israeli medical teams said.
An IDF soldier was lightly wounded in that incident, the IDF said.
At the Eli settlement north of Ramallah, Palestinians in a vehicle opened fire on a group of Israelis walking along the entrance to the settlement, critically wounding one of them, Israeli security and medical sources said.
Separately, during a routine army operation near the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank, Israeli troops clashed with an armed Palestinian and hit him with gunfire, Israeli security sources said.
The man was killed, according to the Israel Defense Forces Web site.
Israeli media reported that the man is a senior leader of Islamic Jihad, a group that orchestrates terrorist attacks against civilians.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which operates from Gaza, is considered to be a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States.
Palestinian officials had no immediate response to the incidents.
CNN's Shira Medding contributed to this report.
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.