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Minister for Foreign Affairs Condemns West Bank Killings

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D., has condemned last night’s killing of four Israeli settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron.

“I strongly condemn this murderous attack which has resulted in the deaths of four Israeli civilians, including a pregnant woman. This appalling act was clearly timed to increase tensions in advance of the important re-launch of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Washington DC tomorrow. I extend my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed.

In light of this terrible event, it is even more imperative that the parties to the talks engage seriously, and with genuine good faith, so as to achieve progress towards a just and equitable settlement at this critical juncture in the Middle East peace process. It is particularly urgent that all sides exercise the maximum restraint and refrain from any actions which may call into question their commitment to the talks process.

President Obama, assisted by Secretary of State Clinton and Special Envoy Mitchell, are to be commended for their committed efforts to bring about a resumption of direct negotiations after a hiatus of some twenty months. The urgency of making progress towards achieving the only viable settlement, based on a two-State solution, has never been greater. Ireland, along with our EU and international partners, will continue to do all we can to support this vital process and ensure it is not undermined by senseless acts of violence.”