White House repeats call for restraint

March 23, 2004 at 5:18 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 23 (UPI) -- The White House Tuesday repeated its call for "maximum restraint" by Palestinians and Israelis following the killing of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

All parties in the process to bring peace between the two people need to be calm and move forward to restarting negotiations that could lead to an independent Palestinian state next year, spokesman Scott McClellan said.

"It's important during this time that everybody exercise maxium restraint and work to restore calm in the region." He said. "That's the president's message.

"And its important all parties live up to their obligations."

Yassin was specifically targeted and killed Monday in Gaza in an Israeli helicopter attack. Hamas, a militant group responsible for much of the suicide bombings in Israel, has vowed vengeance.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who complains the Palestinian Authority is not keeping its U.S.-brokered bargain to clamp down on terrorism, ordered the killing himself.

The U.S. peace plan, which calls for reciprocal confidence-building measures by Israelis and Palestinians, has been derailed by repeated terrorist actions and Israeli counter-measures, including the killing of militant leaders.

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