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World churches condemn killings in Hebron

The Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, has condemned the killings of four Israeli settlers near Hebron in the West Bank yesterday and expressed his condolences to the affected families. He rejects any use of violence as a means to gain the much-desired and needed peace for this region.

"At a time when Palestinian and Israeli leaders are beginning negotiations, the  extremists who encourage and legitimize violence must not be allowed to  succeed", said Tveit in a statement.

"To bring security to both Israelis and Palestinians, the negotiations must stop  the occupation and all the injustices that ordinary Palestinians experience each  day", he continued.

The general secretary added that  he and the WCC are praying for the success of the negotiations: "It is urgent  that the leaders take the necessary steps toward a just peace and not bring  another moment of disappointment and injustice to the people in the region."

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness  and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of  churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant,  Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million  Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.