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Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian at checkpoint in West Bank

JERUSALEM — Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man as he approached a checkpoint in the northern West Bank early Sunday holding a glass bottle, the military said.

Palestinian officials condemned the killing, noting it was the second death of the weekend in the West Bank. A Palestinian woman died Saturday after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces a day earlier at a protest in the village of Bilin against Israel's separation barrier nearby.

The Israeli military said that the man had approached the checkpoint in an unauthorized lane and failed to heed the soldiers' orders to stop. The soldiers followed procedures and opened fire, a military spokeswoman said. It was not clear whether the man was acting in a threatening manner. The spokeswoman said the episode was being examined.

The rising tension in the West Bank comes amid an impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Peace talks broke down in September after an Israeli moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements expired.

The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Sunday that he was ready to sit down in private with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, for direct, continuous negotiations. Netanyahu has long called for direct talks without preconditions.

"If Abu Mazen will agree to my proposal to talk directly about all the significant and core issues," Netanyahu said, referring to Abbas by his popular name, "we will find out very quickly whether it is possible to reach an agreement."

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said in response that if Netanyahu wanted direct talks, "he has to utter the numbers 1-9-6-7, and say that he is ready for two states on the 1967 lines with minor, mutually agreed land swaps."

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian at checkpoint in West Bank 01/02/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:52pm]
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