By Sam Youngman - 09/01/10 04:56 PM EDT
President Obama said Wednesday that an attack in Israel's West Bank that left four Israeli settlers dead will not derail peace talks with Middle East leaders under way at the White House.
After meeting in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama and the prime minister made brief statements to reporters to condemn the attacks.
The president said the attacks are a reminder that "we've got a lot of work to do," but Obama said "we are going to remain stalwart."
With the major players of the Middle East in Washington for direct talks, Obama added the early afternoon statement to assert his and the other leaders' commitment to peace.
Obama said that the "senseless slaughter" will not deter the U.S., which will be "unwavering in its support of Israeli security, and we are going to push back on these type of terrorist activities."
The president singled out Hamas for claiming credit for the attack, saying that it "will not stop us" from ensuring Israeli security and pursuing peace.
Netanyahu, joining Obama just outside the Oval Office, also condemned the "savagery and brutality."
Netanyahu praised Obama's statement as "an expression of our desire to fight against this terror."
The talks so far have been "open, productive, serious in the quest for peace," Netanyahu said.