The four Israeli settlers killed in an ambush on Tuesday near Hebron in the West Bank have been buried.
The attack was claimed by the military wing of the Islamist group Hamas from its Gaza powerbase, and condemned by Fatah, the Palestinian Authority in charge of the West Bank, and which is in Washington for the first direct peace talks with Israel in nearly two years.
The attack may have been designed to try to bury the talks before they started, but Israel’s President Shimon Peres said that will not be allowed to happen.
He told reporters: “Peace can be attained only by negotiations and terror is aimed at interrupting the peace efforts. None of us has the slightest intention in mind to submit to this threat.”
Overnight the Palestinian Authority swooped on suspected Hamas activists in the West Bank, arresting between 50 and 150 people.
Fatah has condemned the killings, but in the immediate aftermatch the Yesha Council settler group, called for an immediate restart to settlement building, defying a government-imposed freeze that lasts until September the 26th.
Benjamin Netanyahu said it would not be extended, another potential deal-breaker for talks with the Palestinians. For the Israeli settlers, the attack is more proof deals cannot be done with them.