State Dept. Reaction to Terror Attack Contradicts Obama, Kerry, UN

terror attack Jerusalem female Israeli soldiers (Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty)
Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty

The U.S. Department of State referred to the site of Sunday’s Palestinian terror attack against Israeli pedestrians as “Jerusalem,” even though the attack — which killed four Israeli soldiers — occurred in the neighborhood of East Talpiyot, which the Obama administration officially considers a “settlement” in the “occupied” city of “East Jerusalem.”

East Talpiyot is in eastern Jerusalem, across Hebron Road, which marked the heavily-fortified armistice line between Israel and Jordan at the end of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-9. When Jordan shelled Israel in June 1967, Israel launched a counterattack and overcame Jordanian forces in eastern Jerusalem, which it unified with the western portion of the city.

Sunday’s terror attack took place at the Haas Promenade, known in Hebrew as the “Tayelet,” a popular overlook that offers sweeping views of the Old City of Jerusalem, and which is popular among Jews and Arabs alike for walks, wedding photos and family picnics. It is one of few public spaces where Arabs and Jews interact. Many American tour buses also stop there.

However, the Obama administration regards all Israeli neighborhoods built in eastern Jerusalem after 1967 as “settlements,” even if they are part of the city itself. In addition, UN Security Council Resolution 2234, which President Obama allowed to pass (by declining to veto), regards neighborhoods like East Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation under international law.”

Still, State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner the site of the attack on Sunday as “Jerusalem”:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific vehicular attack by a terrorist in Jerusalem.‎ There is absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks. We‎ condemn the glorification of terrorism now or at any time and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the four Israeli soldiers who were killed, and we hope for a full and fast recovery of those injured.

In his speech last month attacking the Israeli government and defending the UN Security Council resolution, Secretary of State made clear that he regards all of the Israeli presence in “East Jerusalem” as occupied territory.

On that basis, Palestinians and their supporters are celebrating the terror attack as justified. Fatah, the so-called “moderate” governing party of the Palestinian Authority, called the terrorist a “martyr” who was killed by “Israeli occupation police.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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