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(photo credit: AP [file])
Israel must exercise restraint during its military operations in order to avoid civilian casualties, the Quartet said during a meeting centered around the situation in the Middle East in Berlin on Wednesday.
In a press statement released early Thursday morning, the Quartet condemned continued Palestinian rocket fire into Israel, but warned that the country must not react in a way that would harm civilians or cause "damage to civilian infrastructure."
The Quartet raised concerns over the incarceration of Palestinian Authority (PA)government officials and called for them to be released by Israel. Several Hamas members of parliament were jailed by Israel after Kassam rocket attacks escalated last week and resulted in the death of an Israeli woman.
Furthermore, the resumption of transfers of tax funds by Israel on behalf of the PA, read the statement, would have a significant impact on the Palestinian economy. It recommended Israel transfer money via the Temporary International Mechanism, the European emergency aid which bypasses the PA government.
The Quartet expressed concern over the deterioration of a cease-fire between Hamas and Fatah members in the Gaza Strip and called for an immediate stop to factional fighting.
The Quartet also called for an immediate release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit.