U.S. demands Israel explain killing of Rabbi's assassins

Washington has questioned Israel over a deadly West Bank raid that killed three members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah movement.

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AFP Washington has passed on the Palestinians’ concerns over why the raid was carried out without their forces being given an opportunity to arrest the men, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Israel said the three men shot dead in Nablus on Saturday were behind the killing of a settler in the occupied West Bank two days earlier who was ambushed on a road and had his car sprayed with bullets.

HAARETZ Senior Obama administration officials requested on Saturday that National Security Adviser Uzi Arad explain the IDF raid in Nablus.

Arad shared intelligence with the officials that Israel had received about the militants, who belonged to the military wing of the Western-backed Fatah movement, and the details of the operation on Saturday that led to their deaths.

The national security advisor, a key aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stressed that this was a case of self-defense, since the three were behind a terror attack on Thursday. One of the men was a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a militant group loosely linked with Abbas’s Fatah movement, and the other two were Fatah activists, Palestinian security officials said.

A senior U.S. official told Haaretz that the United States had attempted to calm both Israel and the Palestinian authority in the wake of the events. The PA on Saturday complained to the U.S. that during the raid Israel had unjustly invaded area A, for whose security the Palestinians are solely responsible. The PA demanded that the Americans voice their own position on the matter.

Palestinian Authority discovers proof Hezbollah behind shooting attack that killed Meir Hai

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday that the Israel Defense Forces would respond to every assault on Israelis, one day after undercover commandos killed three Fatah militants behind a terror attack last week, an operation which prompted a request for clarification from the White House. “We’ll continue to defend aggressively and respond to every attack against Israeli citizens and every rocket strike,” the prime minister said.

Police said Sunday, meanwhile, that one of the weapons confiscated by IDF troops during the operation had been used to shoot Rabbi Hai, a resident of a West Bank settlement. Police took the weapons to a criminal identification lab for a ballistics check.  H/T Debbie in Israel

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