DOUBLE ARTICLE: Al Aqsa “Dangerous Escalations” – Reuters and AFP
Arab ministers to meet after Jerusalem clashes: “dangerous escalations” – AFP
Cairo – Arab League foreign ministers will meet in Cairo early next month to discuss clashes involving Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, a senior Palestinian official said Monday.
Sunday’s incident saw Israeli police enter the mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, as they clashed with Palestinians angered by Jews’ access to the compound on an annual day of Jewish mourning.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told reporters that foreign ministers from 15 Arab states will meet on August 5 to discuss what he called the “dangerous development” in Jerusalem.
They will discuss “Israeli escalations at Al-Aqsa mosque, continuing settlements, extra-judicial arrests and assassinations and forced displacements” of Palestinians, he said after meeting the league’s chief Nabil Al-Arabi at its Cairo headquarters.
Erakat said the meeting had been called by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
The 15 ministers represent Arab countries involved in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories in exchange for full normalisation of ties with the Arab world.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been comatose since a failed US diplomatic effort in April last year, and a war in the Gaza Strip last summer killed about 2,200 Palestinians.
The meeting will also discuss Palestinian reconciliation efforts and a new Arab bid to end the Israeli occupation through the United Nations, Erakat said.
* * * * * * *
Palestinian killed in Israeli raid, witness disputes how he died – Reuters
QALANDIYA, West Bank – A Palestinian wanted on suspicion of planning a militant attack fell to his death from a rooftop on Monday as he fled from police in the occupied West Bank, Israeli police said, an account disputed by a witness
Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians in the West Bank in the past week in raids that they say foil attacks.
A police spokeswoman said the man, identified by Qalandiya residents as 19-year-old Mohammed Abu Latifa, ignored paramilitary police officers’ orders to halt and climbed onto a rooftop where police shot him in the lower body to stop him.
“Nonetheless, the wanted man continued fleeing, and when he tried to move to another roof, he tripped and fell, and was fatally injured as a result,” she said.
However, Shahdi Awad, who lives in a neighboring building and who said he saw the incident, told Reuters Abu Latifa was shot dead and had not fallen off the roof.
“He was shot repeatedly on the rooftop, and that’s where he stayed until the soldiers came and took down the body,” he said.
Palestinians who saw Abu Latifa said he had gunshot wounds in his legs but no clear sign of damage elsewhere. Palestinian doctors said his family’s had refused permission for an autopsy.
The police spokeswoman, Luba Samri, said, “He (Awad) can say whatever he wants. Our account is what happened.”
She said that Abu Latifa, and a second man arrested without incident in Qalandiya, were “suspected of planning a terrorist attack within Israel”.
Qalandiya residents said Abu Latifa was a member of the Fatah political party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas but that they had no knowledge of him having any affiliation with armed factions within the party.