I am deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in the Middle East.

The Australian Government extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the three Israeli teenagers senselessly murdered after their kidnapping almost three weeks ago.

We condemn all acts of violence, especially where it affects innocent civilians.

The Palestinian Authority must make every effort to apprehend those responsible for these crimes.

I call on both sides to refrain from any escalation of violence that would only serve to make the resolution of differences between Israel and Palestinians more difficult.

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