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Bush calls for 'maximum restraint' in Mideast

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Here is the statement released by the White House late Wednesday on the increasing Mideast tensions:

"The president is deeply concerned about the escalation of violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza that has claimed the lives of a number of innocent people this week. There is no justification for acts of terrorism," the White House said.

"The tragic cycle of incitement, provocation and violence has gone on far too long. The president calls upon both sides to exercise maximum restraint to calm the situation and set the foundation for a return to negotiations.

"The Palestinian Authority should speak out publicly against violence and terrorism, arrest the perpetrators of terrorist acts and resume security cooperation. The government of Israel should exercise restraint while taking steps to restore normalcy for the lives of the Palestinian people by easing closures and removing checkpoints. Both sides should live up to the commitments they have made, combat terrorism and engage in dialogue."



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