Britain condemns killing of four Israeli settlers

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Britain condemned Wednesday the "cruel and inhuman" killing of four Israeli settlers in the West Bank, saying it must not be allowed to derail peace negotiations.

The comments from Foreign Secretary William Hague came ahead of the first direct talks in two years between Israeli and Palestinian leaders which are expected to take place in Washington on Thursday.

"I deplore last night's killing of four Israeli citizens," Hague said in a statement released by the Foreign Office.

"This cruel and inhuman attack must not be allowed to derail efforts to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region.

"On behalf of the United Kingdom, I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed, and reaffirm our unswerving support for all those striving for peace in the region in the face of such provocations."

The attack was claimed by the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, which is vehemently opposed to the talks.

© 2010 AFP

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