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Mideast Quartet seeks end to Gaza violence

(Xinhua)

14:23, March 13, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators will meet Monday at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss ways to restart the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

The meeting, held six months after the last one, comes amid escalating violence, which has seen Israeli airstrikes kill at least 23 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since Friday.

The talks by the Quartet, a diplomatic group composed of the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States, will be chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton among others.

The meeting will take place on the sidelines of a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on the current situation in Syria.

The latest Israeli-Palestinian violence started Friday when Israel killed the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) militant group and his assistant while they were driving in Gaza City.

Palestinian militants responded by firing rockets at Israeli communities near Gaza.

Israel said it killed the PRC chief to thwart his plans to attack Israel from Gaza's border with Egypt.

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