Ashton condemns shooting of IDF soldier in Hebron
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Ashton condemns shooting of IDF soldier in Hebron

EU foreign policy chief urges Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from actions that could undermine peace process

European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton talks with journalists as she arrives for an informal meeting of EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs at the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton talks with journalists as she arrives for an informal meeting of EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs at the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned the killing of Israeli soldier Gal Gabriel Kobi by a Palestinian sniper in Hebron on Sunday, and called for “maximum restraint” on both sides.

In a statement released Sunday evening, Ashton denounced the incident “in the strongest terms,” and said the killing “comes in the wake of several worrying incidents in the West Bank.”

“The EU regrets the loss of life, urges for maximum restraint and reiterates its call to all parties to refrain from actions that could undermine the negotiation process and the prospects of peace,” she said.

Kobi, 20, was pronounced dead after being shot in the neck near Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs.

Magen David Adom rescue teams that arrived at the scene provided emergency assistance to Kobi, who was initially reported to be in critical condition after being shot in the neck. He was hit by a single bullet.

Gabriel Kobi (photo credit: Facebook)
Gabriel Kobi (photo credit: Facebook)

According to Channel 2 News, IDF officials estimate that the attack was carried out by a Palestinian terrorist from one of the nearby neighborhoods in the city.

IDF soldiers imposed a curfew on Palestinians in Hebron and began searching the area for the perpetrator of the attack.

Palestinian sources reported violent clashes between IDF troops and local Palestinian residents in the wake of the shooting. Several Palestinians were detained by the IDF, Israel Radio reported.

According to unverified reports, Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack, the radio report said.

On Sunday, Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, condemned the killing Friday of Sgt. Tomer Hazan.

Hazan’s body was found in a village near Qalqilya Saturday, a day after he was lured to the West Bank by a Palestinian co-worker, kidnapped and killed.

Nidal Amar was arrested and confessed to killing Hazan, the Shin Bet security service said.

Serry said the “shocking murder” was the latest in a series of violent incidents in the West Bank.

He called for calm on both sides, which he said was “all the more important at this critical moment in the political process.”

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