(Edited from Xinhua, Gaza) The killing of four Israelis in Tuesday night’s shooting attack carried out by Islamic Hamas movement’s armed wing near Hebron in southern West Bank, on Wednesday brought contradictory reactions from both Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

At the time that the PNA officials have warned of escalating the attempts to ruin the entire peace process, Hamas movement vowed more attacks, saying that “the heroic attack near Hebron was part of a series of attacks that will be carried out in the West Bank in the coming future.”

(Edited from Xinhua, Gaza) The killing of four Israelis in Tuesday night’s shooting attack carried out by Islamic Hamas movement’s armed wing near Hebron in southern West Bank, on Wednesday brought contradictory reactions from both Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

At the time that the PNA officials have warned of escalating the attempts to ruin the entire peace process, Hamas movement vowed more attacks, saying that “the heroic attack near Hebron was part of a series of attacks that will be carried out in the West Bank in the coming future.”

Yahia Musa, a Gaza-based Hamas leader told Xinhua that Hamas “still sticks to the choice of armed resistance and doesn’t believe in any other choices,” adding “therefore, Hamas backs its armed wing, which carried out yesterday’s attack, in escalating its operations against the projects of concessions.”

The Hebron attack contradicts with previous Hamas leaders’ indications that it would prevent its activists from carrying out armed attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip, which the movement has been controlling since it seized it by force in June 2007.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the armed attack in Hebron “aims at disturbing the peace process and it can never be considered as an action of armed resistance against Israel, since Hamas movement had stopped attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip.”

In the meanwhile, Ghassan al-Khatib, chief of the PNA government press office warned that some Palestinians and Israeli parties are seeking an escalation of violence to ruin the peace process. He told “Voice of Palestine” Radio that Hebron attack doesn’t serve the Palestinian cause or high interests.

“The attack doesn’t serve the highest national interests of the Palestinian people. Its timing targets the exerted Palestinian efforts to gather a larger international support that serves the Palestinian national cause,” said al-Khatib.

The attack was carried out as the Israelis and the Palestinians were heading to the United States to launch direct peace negotiations to find a permanent solution over substantial issues, mainly Jerusalem and the settlements. Musa denied the attack was targeting the peace negotiations.

Asked if Hamas wants to disturb the Middle East peace process, the Hamas leader said what happens in Washington “doesn’t represent any movement towards making peace in the region”, adding that “it was just an American warrant sent to the negotiations team of the PNA.”

“Such kinds of negotiations, which will be launched in Washington on Thursday, is not more than a cover for Israel to continue settlement and demolition and causing harms to the Palestinian people and to their just cause,” said Musa.

Meanwhile, opening Mideast talks just after fresh violence, President Barack Obama on Wednesday warned militant Hamas that the United States and its allies won’t be stopped in their pursuit of peace by the acts of terrorists.

Standing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Obama condemned the killings on Tuesday of four Israelis who were shot while traveling near the West Bank city of Hebron.

“I want everybody to be very clear,” Obama said. “The United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel’s security. And we are going to push back against these kinds of terrorist attacks. And so the message should go out to Hamas and everyone else who is taking credit for these heinous crimes that this is not going to stop us.”

Netanyahu praised Obama for his support and for expressing the sentiments of “decent people everywhere.” Both leaders said their opening talks on Wednesday morning, part of a series of separate discussions, which also were to include Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, were productive.

Khalil Shahin, a Palestinian writer and a political analyst based in the West Bank, said the attack near Hebron “is a start of a new era of violence and of escalating the armed Palestinian attacks in the West Bank against Israeli targets aiming at undermining the peace process.”

Shahin also said that launching the direct talks is considered a victory by the Israeli government.

The increase of attacks “would ease the international pressure on Israel and wouldn’t commit Israel to a limited timetable for reaching a permanent peace agreement,” he said.

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