In a new Israeli escalation, occupation troops killed six Palestinians Saturday, December 26, in two separate attacks in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"This operation represents a dangerous escalation,” Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“(It) can only be seen in the context of targeting the security and stability that the Palestinian Authority has been able to bring about."
Israeli troops stormed into the West Bank town of Nablus early Saturday, killing three members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group.
Family members said Israeli soldiers entered without warning and killed the men in cold blood.
None of the men had resisted or fired any shots at Israeli soldiers, they said.
The Israeli military says that the men were linked to the killing of an Israeli settler in the West Bank on Thursday.
One of the men, Anan Subuh, 36, was a member of Fatah’s armed wing, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, but had been granted amnesty by Israel.
The other two men were party activists, according to a Palestinian security official.
A woman was also wounded during the Israeli raid, according to Palestinian medics.
The Israeli raid in the West Bank comes after more than two years of relative calm in the occupied territory.
Israeli troops also killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip early Saturday.
"Soldiers spotted the silhouettes of several men who were crawling towards the security fence and fired warning shots which were ignored," a military spokeswoman said.
"An air force unit opened fire on them and then discovered evidence on the ground that proved they wanted to carry out a terrorist attack."
But medics and Hamas border guards said that the three men were civilians scavenging for scrap metal near the security fence.
The new killings come as Gaza is marking one year after a deadly Israeli onslaught killed more than 1,400 people and injured thousands in the strip.
The Israeli assaults drew Palestinian fire as a new sign on Israel’s efforts to undermine the regional peace talks.
"This grave Israeli escalation shows Israel is not interested in peace and is trying to explode the situation," Nabil Abu Rdainah, a top aide to Abbas, told Reuters.
"The Israeli escalation in the West Bank and Gaza and the return to the policy of assassinations and random killings under false pretences reveals that the occupation government has decided to destroy the security and stability of the Palestinian people."
Abu Rdainah accused Israel of trying to drag the Palestinians into a spiral of bloody violence.
“So it can escape the increasing international pressure on it," he said.
"Israel is torpedoing international and American efforts to restart peace talks."
(IslamOnline.net and Agencies)