IDF troops in Gaza
Photo: AFP

Palestinians threaten to call off talks with Israel

Palestinians threaten to suspend peace negotiations with Israel following Israeli military operations in Gaza resulting in death of at least 35 Gazans

Palestinians threatened on Saturday to call off peace talks with Israel after 35  Gazans, at least half of them civilians, were killed in  violence that escalated sharply during the day.


The death toll climbed as Israeli troops, backed by tanks and aircraft, went after Palestinian militants who fired 44 rockets and mortars on Saturday at southern Israeli communities near Gaza.


Chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia said Palestinian leaders, including President Mahmoud Abbas, recommended suspending peace talks at a meeting Saturday in the West Bank town of Ramallah. 


"I think it will be suspended," Qureia said. "What is happening in Gaza is a massacre of civilians,  

women and children, a collective killing, genocide," Qureia added.


"We can't bear what the Israelis are doing,  and what the Israelis are doing doesn't led the peace process any credibility."


In Jerusalem, Foreign Ministry officials were meeting to  discuss the violence in Gaza and its implications for the  talks.


Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said as far as Israel  was concerned, talks are "based on the understanding that when advancing the peace process with pragmatic (Palestinian) sources, Israel will continue to fight terror  that hurts its people."  Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni leads Israel's peace  team. 


פרסום ראשון: 03.01.08, 16:29
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