Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in West Bank clashes

In this Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 file photo, Israeli forces deploy during a raid in the West Bank City of Ramallah. Israel has been launching raids into the heart of Ramallah, and the US is cutting off aid and taking actions that many fear will obliterate any remaining hope for a two-state solution. (AP)
Updated 26 January 2019
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Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in West Bank clashes

RAMALLAH: Israeli settlers shot and killed a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, Palestinian officials and the Israeli military said.
The incident followed a confrontation between settlers and Palestinians near the city of Ramallah in which a settler was lightly injured, the military said.
"Initial details suggest that shortly thereafter, a conflict erupted between Israeli civilians and Palestinians in the area, in which live rounds were fired by the civilians. One Palestinian died and several others are injured," the military said in a statement, adding that an investigation has begun.
The Palestinians said the settlers had entered the village of al-Mughayer and that its residents tried to fend them off. The Israeli military said its forces dispersed the crowds. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that the man killed was 38 years old and that nine other people were wounded by gunfire.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killing.
"The Israeli Government is continuing its policy of escalation," Abbas said in a statement published by the official Wafa news agency. "This will lead to serious consequences, further tension and the creation of a dangerous and uncontrollable atmosphere."
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014, and a bid by U.S. President Donald Trump to restart negotiations has so far shown little progress.
The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with a capital in east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War.
Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move unrecognized abroad and in 2005 pulled its settlers and army out of Gaza. It maintains a blockade of the territory, which is controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement. Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by Israel and the West.
In the West Bank, the Palestinians have limited self-rule and most of the territory is controlled by Israel. Most countries view the settlements Israel has built there as illegal - a view that Israel disputes, citing biblical, historical and political ties to the land.


Sudan’s army calls for unconditional talks with protesters

Updated 20 June 2019
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Sudan’s army calls for unconditional talks with protesters

  • Protest leaders have set conditions for a resumption of talks, including a withdrawal of the military and militias from cities
  • At least 128 people were killed across the country since security forces cleared the sit-in area outside the military’s headquarters

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s military council said talks on the transition of power should resume without preconditions, signaling a continued standoff with opposition leaders who launched nighttime demonstrations to push for civilian rule.
Protest leaders have set conditions for a resumption of talks, including a withdrawal of the military and militias from cities, the resumption of Internet service and an international investigation of the violent razing of their sit-in camp on June 3.
Transition talks collapsed over the military’s crackdown.
At least 128 people were killed across the country since security forces cleared the sit-in area outside the military’s headquarters. Authorities offer a lower death toll of 61, including three from security forces.
Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the council, told health workers in Khartoum on Wednesday that the council did not have preconditions for returning to the negotiating table with the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which has represented protesters.
He said neither side should make up-front demands.
“I repeat our invitation to all political forces and the FDFC to come (for talks), and there is no need for preconditions,” he said. “We do not deny their role in the uprising and the popular revolution ..., but the solution should be satisfactory to all Sudanese factions.”
Protest leaders could not be reached immediately for comment.
On Saturday, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association said it would stick to its conditions for the resumption of talks.
Meanwhile, protest leaders launched nighttime protests this week.
Late Wednesday, about 300 protesters, mostly young people, marched in Khartoum’s western district of Abbasiya, waving Sudanese flags and calling for justice for those killed since the sit-in dispersal.
Protesters avoid daytime demonstrations for fear of being quashed by security forces heavily deployed in Khartoum.
The military council has rejected the idea of an international probe and said it had started its own investigation along with another one by prosecutors.
An Ethiopian initiative to resume talks apparently failed to make progress in the deadlock. A top general in the military council pushed back last week against a key demand from the protest leaders to have the majority in a transitional legislative body.
Burhan said that the country cannot remain without a government, more than three months after the military ousted autocratic President Omar Al-Bashir in April.
“We do not want that things (get) out of control,” Burhan said. “Another coup could be carried out because of the country’s impasse.”