The officials accused the IDF of killing three Palestinians in the West Bank last week, a move which, they said, shows that the Israeli government “is not serious about improving its relations with the Palestinians.”
In a third incident, Palestinians said that Shadi Salim, 41, an employee with the Beita Municipality near Nablus, was shot dead by troops near the town. Security sources said that he was targeted after he approached soldiers in a menacing manner while holding what appeared to be an iron bar.
Last week, the Israeli and Palestinian health and environmental protection ministers held rare meetings as part of a US-sponsored effort to improve relations between the two sides.
A Palestinian official on Saturday downplayed the significance of the meetings and said the Palestinians want to see “a real change in Israel’s policies on the ground.”
The meetings, the official told The Jerusalem Post, are a “positive step in the right direction, but the Israeli government needs to take serious measures to end the violence and provocations.”
According to the official, the Palestinian leadership is facing criticism because of its renewed contacts with the Israeli government “while soldiers and settlers are continuing to attack Palestinians in the West Bank.”
The Palestinians, he added, “are unhappy with us because they see that the situation on the ground, especially settlement expansion, remains unchanged.”
Leaders of the ruling Fatah faction headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas are scheduled to hold a meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday to discuss what they call the “upsurge in Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.”
Taysir Nasrallah, member of the Fatah “Revolutionary Council,” one of the faction’s key decision-making bodies, said that the participants will discuss ways of “enhancing the popular resistance” against Israel in the West Bank.
Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah, also called on Palestinians to continue “popular resistance” activities.
He announced that the Palestinians are planning activities in the coming days to protest “settlement expansion” and the possible eviction of Arab families from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Last week, a source close to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that the government does not plan to evict Arab residents of Sheikh Jarrah in light of how heated the matter has become. The High Court of Justice scheduled a hearing for Monday on the eviction of four families. Lower courts have upheld claims that the property is owned by the Nahalat Shimon Company, which seeks to develop the land for Jewish housing.
“The coming days will be decisive as we are no longer able to tolerate Israeli crimes,” Aloul told the PA’s Voice of Palestine radio station.
He said that the Palestinian leadership has sent “clear messages to the world, especially the US and the European Union, that the continuation of the current situation is unacceptable.”
Mahmoud Sawafta, a Fatah leader from Tubas, north-east of Nablus, said that the Palestinians are determined to continue protesting against settler activities in the area. Sawafta said that Palestinians want to see the removal of all the settler outposts in the Jordan Valley and “are determined to thwart [Israel’s] annexation plan and the theft of land and water.”