Israel, US condemn brutal West Bank 'child murder'

Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas

The White House has demanded an “unequivocal condemnation” from the Palestinian Authority over the brutal stabbing of five Israelis last night, including a three-month old baby and two other children.

The victims, who were all members of the same family, were found dead at their home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar on Friday evening. Three children were left orphaned by the attack.

According to Palestinian reports a faction of Fatah has claimed responsibility for the murders. At least 20 people have been arrested in connection.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the terrorist attack as “child murder”. He called on those countries that rushed to attack Israeli settlement building to likewise condemn last night’s killings.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack but a Hamas spokesman praised it as a “heroic operation”.

A spokesman for the White House called on the Palestinian leadership to hold “the perpetrators of this heinous crime”.

They said: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of five Israelis in a terrorist attack in the northern West Bank, and we offer our condolences to their loved ones and to the Israeli people.

"There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home.”

Last updated: 9:28am, March 14 2011