Obama: Kiryat Arba attack was 'senseless slaughter'

US president says US won't stop seeking peace in Middle East; Netanyahu applauds condemnation, says attackers "butcher everything they oppose."

Obama speaks as Bibi looks on 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Obama speaks as Bibi looks on 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama stressed America’s abiding commitment to Israel’s security and the peace process Wednesday in the wake of Hamas’s killing of four Israelis in the West Bank.
“I want everybody to be very clear: 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 activities,” Obama said following a White House meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
RELATED:Netanyahu urges settlers to show restraint and respect lawPM on talks: All issues should be discussed together
Obama said that the killing was a "senseless slaughter" that will not stop the US from seeking peace in the Middle East.
“The message should go out to Hamas and everybody else who is taking credit for these heinous crimes, that this is not going to stop us from not only ensuring a secure Israel but also securing a longer-lasting peace,” he said.
Netanyahu, who appeared at his side in the hastily arranged public appearance, thanked Obama for his condemnation and commitment to the peace process.
He described their meeting as “open, productive, serious in the quest for peace,” noting that much of the discussion had focused on Israel’s security since it is “a fundamental element, an important foundation of the peace that we seek.”
Netanyahu applauded Obama's condemnation of the attack and said the killings were carried out by people who do not respect human life and who "trample human rights into the dust and butcher everything they oppose."
Obama, for his part, expressed gratitude to Netanyahu for “still being so committed to the cause of peace that he’s here with us today” despite Tuesday’s terror attack.
The president also praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whom he noted had also condemned the attack.
Obama called Abbas someone in whom he has “the utmost confidence in him and his belief in a two-state solution in which the people of Israel and the Palestinians are living in peace.”
Obama will meet with Abbas later in the day as part of the kick-off to direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
For full Jpost coverage of the 2010 peace talks, click here