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British minister condemns murder of Israeli soldiers

    Middle East Minister Alistair Burt
    Middle East Minister Alistair Burt

    The murder of two Israeli soldiers over the weekend has been condemned by Britain's Middle East minister.

    Alistair Burt said the deaths of Gavriel Kobi and Tomer Chazan were "tragic".

    Sgt Gabriel Koby, 20, was shot by a sniper while on patrol in Hebron on Sunday.

    His death came after Tomer Chazan, also 20, was lured to a West Bank village by a Palestinian and killed on Friday night.

    Mr Burt said his thoughts and prayers went to the two Israelis' families, and added: "All human life, Palestinian and Israeli, is sacred.

    "One of the recurring tragedies of this conflict has been the role played by violent extremists in derailing any progress towards peace.

    "We cannot allow extremists to determine the path ahead. The peace and security that the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians want and deserve, can only come through negotiations, not through violence.”

    Palestinian Nidar Amar - who had previously worked with Sgt Chazan in a local restaurant - was arrested by Shin Bet officers on Saturday and apparently later confessed to killing him.

    In Hebron, the aftermath of Sgt Koby's death saw Israel evacuate 11,000 people who were visiting the city for Succot.

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