Fayad: Stop using Palestinians as excuse for killing innocent people

The Palestinian Prime Minister has called for an end to the use of the plight of Palestinian children as justification for acts of extremist violence against innocent people.

Speaking as police in Toulouse continued their stand-off with the gunman wanted in connection with the murders of four Jewish children and three paratroopers, Salam Fayaad said this was not an excuse.

"It is time for these criminals to stop marketing their terrorist acts in the name of Palestine," he said. He added that extremists should "stop pretending to stand up for the rights of Palestinian children".

His comments came two days after the murders of three children and a rabbi at Toulo u se's Ozer Hatorah Jewish school, and a year after the Fogel murders. The two men convicted of killing five members of the same Israeli family last March told investigators their motive was the "occupation".

The suspected gunman in the French massacre, a man named as Mohammed Merah, has told police his motive is revenge on behalf of Palestinian children.

"This terrorist crime is condemned in the strongest terms by the Palestinian people and their children," said Mr Fayad. "No Palestinian child can accept a crime that targets innocent people."

Last updated: 2:14pm, March 21 2012