- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Palestinian government on Saturday condemned the killings of three young Palestinian-Americans in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, declaring it an act of “terrorism.” Officials called on U.S. authorities to include Palestinians in their investigation.

Police have charged the victims’ neighbor Craig Stephen Hicks, with Tuesday’s shooting of Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, 19, saying the incident followed a dispute over a parking space, Reuters reported.

Investigators are also looking into weather Mr. Hicks committed a hate crime, killing the three victims because they were Muslim.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday’s shooting suggested a rise in dangerous discrimination against American Muslims and called Mr. Hicks “an American extremist and hateful racist,” Reuters reported.

“We consider it a serious indication of the growth of racism and religious extremism which is a direct threat to the lives of hundreds of thousands of American citizens who follow the Islamic faith,” the ministry said in a statement, calling for a serious investigation involving Palestinian investigators.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan blasted President Obama on Thursday for remaining silent on the matter, which has gained international attention.

“This has hate crime written all over it,” said Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of the women who were killed.

Mr. Obama issues a statement condemning the shooting on Friday, calling the incident “brutal and outrageous.”

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