Four Jewish settlers were shot dead in their car by suspected Hamas militants on Tuesday, on the eve of the first peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians after a break of nearly two years.
The shooting was the deadliest attack by militants in the West Bank for more than a year and was seen as an attempt to derail negotiations in Washington, where President Barack Obama was preparing to host a dinner for Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, before the two leaders meet face-to-face on Wednesday.
Ehud Barak, Israels' defence minister, promised that Israel would "exact a price" from those who had carried out the shootings. "This is an apparent attempt by lowly terrorists to sabotage the attempt to achieve a diplomatic process."The victims were all from the same family and included a pregnant woman aged 25, another woman aged 40, and two men, also aged 25 and 40, all from the settlement of Beit Haggai.
Israeli security forces described the attack as a well-planned ambush and said the gunmen made sure the driver and three passengers were dead before fleeing the scene.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but both Israeli and Palestinian security forces blamed Hamas, the hardline Palestinian faction which runs Gaza and opposes peaceful talks with Israel.....Read the full report here....