8 July – The top United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process strongly condemned last night's suicide bombing in central Israel, which killed a 65 year-old woman, and called for political and security talks to continue at full speed.
Terje Roed-Larsen, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, noted that while a cell of a Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility, the group's leadership denied involvement, emphasizing that they remain committed to a cessation of hostilities announced last week.
In a statement issued by his office, Mr. Roed-Larsen, stressed that this cease-fire must be strengthened, with the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian groups doing everything in their power to halt further attacks.
"In spite of this tragic and murderous terrorist attack…it is essential that political and security talks continue at full speed," the statement said, adding that such discussions are the best way to broaden and solidify the ceasefire and prevent future violence - a pre-requisite for the success of the Road Map peace plan.
Sponsored by the so-called Diplomatic Quartet of the UN, United States, European Union and Russia, the Road Map calls for Israel and the Palestinians to take a series of parallel and reciprocal steps culminating in the achievement of two states living side by side in peace by 2005.