Norway condemns killing of Israeli civilians

'I condemn the killing of Israeli civilians in the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

An Israeli couple was shot and killed while driving away from a settlement near Nablus on 1 October. Yesterday, another Israeli couple and a Rabbi were stabbed in East Jerusalem. The two men died and the women was severely injured. Young children witnessed both attacks. These incidents have exacerbated the already tense situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank. There have been new clashes, and Israeli security forces are carrying out extensive military actions in the West Bank.

'I urge all parties to de-escalate the situation and lower the level of conflict. Israel and the Palestinian Authority must cooperate to prevent further violence against civilians on both sides. Reprisals will be completely unacceptable. We expect Israel to act in accordance with international law.

'It is crucial that everyone shows respect for all the holy sites in Jerusalem. The present arrangements must be complied with in full. Everyone must be able to move around the city freely and safely,' said Mr Brende.

The donor coordination group (AHLC) met at minister level in New York last week. At the meeting, both parties confirmed that the goal is still a two-state solution. 'A political process is the only viable way of ending this conflict,' underlined Mr Brende.