The Latest: UN chief calls for probe of Palestinian deaths

AP News
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Posted: Oct 06, 2015 1:42 PM
The Latest: UN chief calls for probe of Palestinian deaths

JERUSALEM (AP) — The latest developments in ongoing tensions between Palestinians and Israel following days of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank (all times local).

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8:15 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for Israel to investigate the death of four Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy, in recent clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli forces.

Ban says Israel should conduct a "prompt and transparent investigation" into the killings, looking into whether Israel's use of force was proportional. He says he is "profoundly alarmed" by the recent events.

Israel's army says it is "thoroughly" investigating the death of the 13-year-old Palestinian. It would not elaborate.

Ban also criticized Israel's demolition of homes belonging to two Palestinian militants in east Jerusalem who killed Israelis in attacks, saying the measure would "inflame tensions still further."

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4:30 p.m.

The Israeli military says it has recovered an assault rifle believed to have been used by Palestinian militants in the shooting attack that killed an Israeli settler couple in the West Bank last week.

The military says the perpetrators confessed to hiding the weapon in a shop owned by a member of the group responsible for the attack. Overnight, forces found the weapon in the shop in the West Bank city of Nablus, the military says.

The current rash of violence began Thursday when Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli couple in their car near a settlement in the West Bank as their four children watched from the backseat.

Israeli authorities on Monday said they arrested five Palestinians affiliated with the Islamic militant group Hamas who plotted and carried out the attack. The militants opened fire from their vehicle on the Israeli family's car, and after the car stopped, two Palestinians approached the car and fired at the couple from close range, Israel's Shin Bet security agency said.

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3:15 p.m.

Israel Radio says it has obtained official Palestinian government documents confirming hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to prisoners convicted in some of the deadliest attacks on Israelis.

Tuesday's report comes after days of violent clashes and repeated Israeli accusations of Palestinian incitement to violence.

Palestinians have long acknowledged paying support to the families of prisoners held by Israel, but payments personally to prisoners convicted in deadly attacks have never been made public.

Israel Radio claims the documents show the hefty sums given to those serving multiple life sentences in Israeli prisons. They include Hamas militants behind suicide bombings that killed dozens of Israelis.

Ashraf al-Ajrami, a former Palestinian minister for prisoners, confirmed the report, saying the prisoners are "heroes" and the money is for their families.

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2:50 p.m.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he has no interest in an "escalation" and is ready to talk with Israel.

The remarks came at a meeting of top Palestinian officials on Tuesday over the latest surge in violence.

Abbas says he has told the Israelis that the Palestinians don't want "military and security escalations." He says the message has been delivered to Palestinian security forces and activists.

But Abbas also added that "at the same time, we will protect ourselves."

He urged Israel to stop building settlements, carry out a previously pledged prisoner release and return to peace talks.

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2:30 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited the site in the West Bank where Palestinian gunmen last week killed an Israeli couple in their car as their four children watched from the backseat.

The attack kicked off a bloody holiday weekend in which four Israelis and four Palestinians were killed amid violent protests.

During the visit on Tuesday, Netanyahu pledged that his country will "break this wave of terror like we broke previous waves of terror." The day before, the Israeli leader promised that he will use a "strong hand" to quell violent Palestinian protests and deadly attacks.

Netanyahu also says Israel will deploy cameras along major West Bank routes to help prevent further attacks.

Israel has already sent thousands of soldiers to battle the recent outbreak.