Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an order late Sunday allowing Jewish families to move into a contested house in a Palestinian neighborhood of Hebron, the West Bank city where an Israeli soldier was fatally shot by a Palestinian sniper hours earlier.
The controversial order, following the death of the soldier and the killing Friday of an unarmed air force sergeant who police say was lured to a West Bank village, represented the latest blow to nascent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks being brokered by Secretary of State John F. Kerry.
On Monday, Tourism Minister Uzi Landau told Army Radio that Israel should freeze its participation in the talks until the Palestinian Authority condemns the two killings. But Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki said the slayings were not a reason to abandon the peace process, according to the Palestinian news agency Maan.
Netanyahu did not directly address the talks in a statement Sunday night. But he said Israel will continue to battle militants who would do it harm, including by expanding the Jewish presence in Hebron — believed to be the burial place of the biblical Abraham, a patriarch in both Judaism and Islam — and other parts of the West Bank. “Those who try to uproot us from the City of the Patriarchs will achieve the opposite,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to fight terrorism and strike at terrorists on the one hand and strengthen settlement with the other.”
In a letter delivered Monday night, seven government ministers urged Netanyahu to rethink releasing Palestinian prisoners as part of the current peace talks.
— Ruth Eglash and William Booth
A gunman burst into a home east of the Mexican border city of Juarez where people were celebrating a baseball victory and killed 10 people, officials said Monday.
The killings occurred Sunday night in Loma Blanca, a town in the Juarez Valley. The dead included a 7-year-old girl, her mother, three teenage boys and five men, said Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutors’ office.
The bodies were scattered over a radius of about 12 yards around the home, suggesting that some of the victims had tried to flee as they were gunned down. A trophy from the baseball game was also found at the home. More than 30 shell casings found at the scene indicated that an assault rifle was used in the attack.
The manager of the local baseball team, the Cardinals, was present at the party and said that about 30 people had attended but that the others were able to escape. He said he saw only one gunman.
The manager, who asked not to be identified by name for fear of reprisals, said the killings could have been motivated by resentment over the team’s victory; he said there is betting on games in the local league.
— Associated Press
An overnight Taliban assault on a border post in southern Afghanistan left 11 police officers dead, while in the country’s north gunmen assassinated a district intelligence chief on his way to work, officials said Monday.
Meanwhile, authorities in Romania said two of their soldiers serving with the NATO coalition in Afghanistan died in a roadside bombing in the east.
The Taliban has stepped up attacks on security forces, officials and government employees during its spring offensive this year.
— Associated Press
Typhoon leaves 52 dead in China, Philippines: At least 25 people were killed in China and 27 in the Philippines as Typhoon Usagi swept over the South China Sea and caused floods Monday in southern China’s Guangdong province, reports said. Residents of Guangdong’s worst-hit city, Shanwei, said the typhoon, which hit land in China late Sunday, was the strongest in 30 years. At least 13 people died in Shanwei, while 12 died in other areas of Guangdong. About 310,000 people were evacuated and several thousand homes were ruined, officials said.
E.U. says Iran, 6 nations to hold nuclear talks: Iran’s new foreign minister will join talks with six key nations trying to rein in the Islamic republic’s nuclear program later this week at the United Nations, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said Monday. Thursday’s meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly would be the first in six years involving a U.S. secretary of state and an Iranian foreign minister.
— From news services