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U.S. condemns attack on West Bank mosque

01-12-2012 09:51 BJT

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Wednesday denounced the most recent vandalizing of a mosque and the burning of three cars in the West Bank, saying violence "only serves to impede the search for peace" between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said her country condemned these "reprehensible" attacks "in the strongest possible terms," stressing that "Hateful, dangerous and provocative actions such as these are never justified."

She said the U.S. encouraged Israeli law enforcement officials to capture and bring to justice those responsible "expeditiously" and encouraged local authorities to work together with the community to reduce tension and defend religious freedom.

"We again call for calm on the part of all parties and urge them to avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation of violence," she said in a statement. "Violence only serves to impede the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on acceptance and respect."

Israeli police suspected that Jewish extremists were behind the attack in the West Bank village of Deir Istiya overnight Tuesday.

The so-called "price tag" attacks by far-right Jewish extremists, which mainly target Palestinians and their property as well as Israeli military bases and left-wing groups, have risen in recent months following the dismantling of several illegal settler outposts.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have had two rounds of face- to-face meetings in Amman, Jordan since Jan. 3, and the kingdom said it would host a series of meetings on its soil in a bid to revitalize the stalled peace process.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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