Barack Obama Urges Mid-East Leaders To Take Opportunity

US President Barack Obama has urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders not to let the chance of a permanent peace deal "slip away". "This moment of opportunity may not soon come again," he said, pledging US support for the new negotiations. Mr Obama spoke the day before a new round of direct talks between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was due to begin. Earlier, he condemned the "senseless slaughter" of four Israeli settlers.They were shot dead by gunmen near the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday, with the armed wing of Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and opposes peace talks with Israel, saying it had carried out the attack. And in another attack, two Israelis were shot and wounded on Wednesday in the West Bank at Rimonim Junction, near the Jewish settlement of Kochav Hashahar and east of the city of Ramallah. The victims were a woman and a man, Israeli officials said, adding that the man was in a serious condition in hospital. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld blamed Palestinian militants for the attack.Mr Obama spoke at the White House on Wednesday evening after meetings with Mr Netanyahu, Mr Abbas, Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.