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Fayyad with Peres on Saturday Photo: Reuters
Fayyad with Peres on Saturday Photo: Reuters
 
Cpl. Ahikam Amihai
Cpl. Ahikam Amihai 
 
Sgt. David Ruben
Sgt. David Ruben 
 
 

Fayyad: We mourn deaths of Israeli soldiers

Palestinian prime minister meets with Israeli President Peres, expresses sorrow over deadly shooting attack near Hebron on Friday, says PA security forces have apprehended men suspected of involved in the attack

Atilla Somfalvi
Latest Update: 12.30.07, 00:14 / Israel News

"We mourn the deaths of the two soldiers. Every death is a senseless one," Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Saturday evening in a meeting with President Shimon Peres in Herzliya.

'We will combat terror'
Fayyad: PA responsible for attack in its territory / Ali Waked
Palestinian prime minister pledges Palestinian Authority will fulfill its commitment to combat terror. During visit to Nablus he addresses terror attack near Hebron on Friday, admits shooting was carried out in region under PA's charge. Meanwhile PA interior minister announces: 'There is no al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades anymore'
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"We are working to end the bloodshed, to create a better future," said Fayyad and extended his condolences to the families of Cpl. Ahikam Amihai and Sgt. David Ruben, two off-duty soldiers on a hiking trip who were killed in a shooting attack south of Hebron.

 

Thousands attended their funerals at the Mt. Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem on Saturday night.

 

''In spite of our best efforts, from time to time our relations get tested with an incident like this unfortunately,'' Fayyad said. ''This is a sad reality, it's something that we have to deal with.''

 

Fayyad announced that Palestinian security forces have already apprehended several suspects in connection to the attack.

 

''We have suspects in custody already. We are coordinating and cooperating with the Israeli security services, weapons have already been returned to Israeli security in connection with this particular incident,'' he said . ''So it's not only strong words of condemnation, it's action.''

 

Fayyad did not give further details and the Israeli military had no immediate confirmation of his comments.

 

Peres stressed the importance of Fayyad's statements and praised the work being done by PA forces to combat terror in the West Bank.

 

During a survey of the PA's deployment in Nablus earlier in the day, Fayyad acknowledge that the attack

had occurred on Palestinian territory. He vowed that the government would fulfill its commitment to rein in armed groups attacking Israel.

 

"Security is what Israelis view as most important; it is difficult for the public to understand why we are still being attacked after the withdrawal from Gaza. They are concerned that this will be the situation in the West Bank," said Peres.

 

First Published: 12.29.07, 20:00

 

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