Four Israelis are killed in West Bank attack
FOUR Israelis were killed last night in a shooting attack on a vehicle in the West Bank, two days before a new round of Middle East peace talks was scheduled to start in Washington.
The four were killed shortly after 7.30pm in an "ambush" and the police and army were searching for the killers. The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message to reporters in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet tomorrow in Washington to start direct peace talks, the first face-to-face negotiations between the sides in 20 months. The US has said it hoped a deal could be reached within a year.
The attack took place near the settlement of Kiryat Arba, close to the city of Hebron. The victims were a couple, including a pregnant woman, and two other passengers.
"This criminal attack proves once again the need to insist on Israel's security needs, over which there will be no compromise," an army spokesman said.
The Qassam Brigades said the "armed operation near Hebron is a natural response to the crimes of the Israeli occupation and its settlers".