Russia urges Mideast parties to restraint after attack

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Russia on Wednesday urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to show restraint in the face of an attack on Jewish settlers in the West Bank on the eve of Middle East peace talks.

"It is vital that all sides now show restraint," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

It condemned the attack that killed four Jewish settlers as a "terrorist" ploy to derail efforts to relaunch the Middle East peace process.

"Moscow categorically condemns this terrorist attack... It was clearly a provocation, carried out immediately ahead of the planned renewal of Palestinian-Israeli talks in Washington on September 2," it said.

"It is necessary to work together to rebuff extremists, who are not interested in a renewal of the Middle East peace process."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas were to meet each other and US President Barack Obama later Wednesday to restart peace talks after a 20-month delay.

On the eve of the talks a Palestinian gunman killed four Jewish settlers, in an attack claimed by the Hamas militant group.

© 2010 AFP

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