News / Middle East

Israel Complains About Palestinian 'Incitement'

Israel has complained to the United States that the Palestinian leadership is glorifying those involved in deadly attacks against the Jewish state.

A senior Israeli official told reporters on Thursday that Israel has brought up the issue of Palestinian "incitement" with the White House and the State Department.  The remarks come a day before the U.S. hosts a new round of high-level talks aimed at restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The official denounced the naming of a public square in the West Bank town of Ramallah after the militant behind a 1978 bus hijacking that killed 38 Israelis.  The official noted that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly endorsed the honors.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has also reportedly referred to three Palestinians killed during an Israeli raid as "martyrs."  The men were accused of killing a Jewish settler.

There was no immediate response from Palestinian officials to the Israeli complaints.

An advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that "these people are terrorists and murderers, not martyrs."  

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will discuss the Middle East peace process with the foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt in Washington.  U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell also will participate in those talks.

Mitchell then will leave Sunday for Paris and Brussels, for discussions with non-Arab allies and with other members of the so-called International Quartet on Middle East Peace, comprised of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled in recent months, partly because of the dispute about Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.

The quartet has urged Israel to stop all settlement building.  It also has called on Palestinian leaders to fight violent extremism and to "end incitement."

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters..

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