Several officials made the accusation after Israeli occupation forces and paramilitary Jewish settlers killed three Palestinians on Tuesday evening - two in the Nablus area and one, a teenage boy, near Ram Allah.

"It is either that the Israeli government can't rein in its terrorist army, or the government itself is instructing the army to keep up the killing in order to provoke the Palestinians to retaliate," PA spokesman Abd Allah Abd Allah said.

"If they can't rein in their occupation army, then we will demand international protection because the fate of 3.7 million Palestinians can't be entrusted to career killers in the Israeli army."

An Israeli army spokesman said troops near Nablus shot and killed two armed Palestinians who were seen near a Jewish settlement.

The spokesman said the two were seen walking towards the settlement of Bracha near Nablus, prompting Israeli forces to target and kill them.

Another ambush

 

The spokesman denied the Israeli army was not interested in preserving the ceasefire.

However, a spokesman for Fatah's armed wing, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, with which the two victims were affiliated, told Aljazeera.net that the two men were killed in an abandoned house at the village of Kufr Khalil outside Nablus

 

"If they can't rein
in their occupation
army, then we will demand international protection because the fate of 3.7 million Palestinians can't be entrusted to career killers in the
Israeli army"

Abd Allah Abd Allah,
Palestinian Authority spokesman

"This was another ambush, another assassination. It constitutes a clear violation of the ceasefire which stipulates that Israel stops targeting Palestinians everywhere," said the spokesman, who would not give his name for security reasons.

Local people said the two victims, Isam Hamza Mansur, 27, and Mahyub al-Qinni were not trying to attack the Bracha settlement, built on confiscated Palestinian land atop Jarzil mountain overlooking Nablus.

Boy killed

Separately, in the town of Baitunia, southwest of Ram Allah, a Jewish settler shot and killed a Palestinian boy on Tuesday night.

Witnesses said a heavily armed settler driving a car stopped briefly and shot 15-year-old Ala Dar Khalil in his back, killing him.

According to Israeli sources, the settler worked as a security guard at a nearby Jewish colony.

The Israeli settler reportedly fled after the killing. The victim is the second Palestinian boy to be killed by Israeli soldiers or settlers within 48 hours.

Clashing accounts

 

On Monday, an Israeli soldier who was driving an army bulldozer shot and killed 15-year-old Sabri Faiz Rajub outside al-Ibrahimi mosque in downtown Hebron.

The Israeli army said the boy was carrying a knife.

 

Witnesses said Israeli forces
killed the boy without reason

Palestinian witnesses told Aljazeera.net the soldier killed the boy without cause and that the ninth-grader at no point posed a danger to the soldier.

Tuesday night's killings brought to six the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army since the Sharm al-Shaikh summit on 8 February.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has asked the international Quartet, which sponsors the peace road map, to see to it that Israel stops the killings immediately.

Observers sought

 

Palestinian Negotiations Minister Saib Uraiqat told Aljazeera.net during a telephone interview on Wednesday that the PA was asking for the "immediate deployment" of observers to monitor the ceasefire.

"Israel has killed six Palestinians since the Sharm al-Shaikh meeting, we hope that the Quartet and the international community will make real efforts to preserve this rare opportunity and prevent Israel from sabotaging the ceasefire."

Uraiqat condemned reported Israeli plans to build a large colony on occupied land in northern Hebron, saying settlement expansion will kill all chances for peace in the region.

"We said repeatedly that Israel can either have peace or settlements. It can't have them both," he added.