WCC condemns killing of Israelis in the West Bank

By staff writers
September 1, 2010

The general secretary of the World Council of Churches has condemned the killings of the four Israeli settlers near Hebron in the West Bank on Tuesday 31 August 2010.

The Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has also expressed his condolences to the affected families.

In his statement, he rejects any use of violence as a means to gain "the much-desired and needed peace for this region."

"At a time when Palestinian and Israeli leaders are beginning negotiations, the extremists who encourage and legitimise violence must not be allowed to succeed", said Dr Tveit.

"To bring security to both Israelis and Palestinians, the negotiations must stop the occupation and all the injustices that ordinary Palestinians experience each day", he continued.

The General Secretary added that he and the WCC are praying for the success of the peace negotiations which begin in the US tomorrow.

"It is urgent that the leaders take the necessary steps toward a just peace and not bring another moment of disappointment and injustice to the people in the region," he declared.

The Palestinian Authority has also condemned the West Bank shooting attack, which is being interpreted as an action by Hamas to try to thwart the latest round of talks.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, opposes the peace talks starting in Washington DC on Wednesday 2 September 2010 and is not taking part.

A statement from the armed wing of Hamas, a group that opposes any dialogue with Israel, said the "Qassam Brigades announces its full responsibility for the heroic operation in Hebron."

The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority said it would take action to prevent a repeat of the attack, which killed four Israeli settlers.

In a statement issued by his office, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said: "We condemn this operation, which goes against Palestinian interests."


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