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Swiss foreign minister concerned about tense Israeli situation

Palestinian youths throw stones at Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Bethlehem Keystone

The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, on Saturday expressed his concern about the increasing tension between Israel and the Palestinians which has left at least six people dead during Saturday's fierce gun battles between the two sides in Israel

This content was published on September 30, 2000 - 18:14

Deiss said he was worried about the fighting in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, which is the worst since 1996 when 13 people died in violent clashes.

The foreign minister also reaffirmed Switzerland's support for the United Nations' secretary-general, Kofi Annan's call for the two sides to resolve their differences through dialogue.

The gun battle erupted between masked Palestinians and Israeli troops, as thousands of rock-throwing rioters clashed with soldiers.

Saturday was the third day of violence, in which a reported 12 people, mostly Palestinians, died.

Peace talks between the two sides have so far failed to end the conflict. The status of Jerusalem remains at the heart of their dispute. Both Palestinians and Israelis claim the ancient city as their capital.

swissinfo with agencies

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