Statement from Tony Blair on the situation in the Middle East

Quartet Representative Tony Blair has released the following statement following the escalation in violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories:

"I am immensely concerned by the situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the escalation of violence and tension, including the latest attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank, and the tragic effects on the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians.

"The international community wants to see a complete halt to violence of all kinds, an absolute respect of and adherence to traditional, agreed practices at the Holy sites, as was called for by the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, and most important of all – an early resumption of credible political negotiations. The leadership of both sides must call for restraint and an end to hostile and provocative acts.

"As for the recently announced settlement construction, the opposition of the international community is clear and in the present circumstances, such building can only have the impact of further inflaming an already tense situation."