Palestinian negotiator says Israeli military escalation meant tocover political crisis

By Xinhua

Ramallah : Israeli military escalation in Gaza Strip and West Bank is meant to cover Israel’s political crisis and distract international focus on Mideast peace process, a Palestinian negotiator said on Thursday.

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“Israel doesn’t stick to the negotiations and the political process,” said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team. “Instead, Israel seeks to destroy the talks.”

Abed Rabbo said the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) was careful in the negotiations “because it faces a political and a military war with so many forms.”

He also stressed that the peace process should go ahead and make progress, starting from the end of settlements, lifting the siege and opening new fields until the occupation is overcome. More than 20 Palestinians were killed in a series of Israeli strikes in Gaza Strip over the past couple of days.

Israeli forces backed by tanks and bulldozers killed 17 Palestinians and wounded 45 others in an incursion into the Zeitoon neighborhood on Tuesday in eastern Gaza City.

Two more Palestinian militants were killed on Tuesday evening in an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, medics and witnesses said.

Earlier on Wednesday, three Palestinian civilians were killed and five wounded in an Israeli air strike at a car that was driving in the eastern part of Gaza City.