World powers have urged Israel and the Palestinians to fully respect a
truce in the Gaza Strip as violence in the region threatens to
undermine the deal.
Diplomats from the "quartet" of Mideast
peace brokers made the appeal Tuesday after meeting in the German
capital, Berlin. The quartet includes the United States, the European
Union, Russia and the United Nations.
In a statement, the
quartet also said Israeli and Palestinian negotiators must urgently
make progress on their goal of reaching a peace deal by the end of this
The quartet reiterated its call on Israel to freeze all
settlement activity and urged "continued Palestinian efforts" to fight
The quartet met on the sidelines of an international
donors conference for the Palestinian Authority. More than 40 countries
pledged $242 million to strengthen Palestinian police and legal
International Middle East envoy, Britain's former
Prime Minister Tony Blair told the conference that Palestinians need to
build a judicial system to help establish the infrastructure for a
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held
a joint meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia in Berlin Tuesday to discuss
peace efforts. Rice said both sides continue to negotiate "seriously."Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.