US Ambassador Slammed for Equating Jewish Victims to Hamas Terrorists

US Ambassador Slammed for Equating Jewish Victims to Hamas Terrorists

US Ambassador slammed for equating Jewish victims to Hamas terrorists 

Four Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists at a gas station outside of Eli in Samaria on Tuesday afternoon. The attack began when two terrorists entered a restaurant next to the gas station and shot several people. The terrorists exited the restaurant and went to the gas station where they shot another person. At that point, an armed civilian shot and killed one of them and the other terrorist fled. Israeli security forces conducted a massive manhunt, killing the second terrorist.

The Jewish victims were identified as Elisha Antman, an 18-year-old resident of the town of Eli, Harel Masoud, a 21-year-old resident of Yad Binyamin, Ofer Feirman, another Eli resident aged 63, and Nachman Shmuel Mordoff, 17, a resident of Achiya.

In addition, four people were wounded in the attack including a 20-year-old man in serious condition.

Initial intelligence reports suggest a strong likelihood that the terrorists were associated with Hamas and Hamas confirmed this in a statement by a Hamas official saying the terrorists belonged to Hamas’s military wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam brigades.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that “all options are open” following the terror attack. “We will continue to fight terror with full force, and we will defeat it,” he stated. “[Israel] “proved in recent months that we make all the murderers pay, without exception. Anyone who harms us is in a grave or in prison. That will happen here, as well.”

In a statement that equated the Jewish victims with Palestinian terrorists, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller condemned the attack in a statement.

“The United States condemns the terrorist attack against Israelis near Eli in the West Bank today,” Miller said. “We express our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wish the injured a speedy recovery.”

He then added, “We are also concerned about the continuation of violence in Israel and the West Bank in recent weeks that has killed and injured Palestinian and Israeli civilians. We will continue to work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to promote steps towards de-escalation.”

US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides drew sharp criticism for his response to the Palestinian terrorist attack. 

“Deeply concerned about the civilian deaths and injuries that have occurred in the West Bank these past 48 hours, including that of minors. Praying for the families as they mourn the loss of loved ones, or tend to those injured,” Ambassador Nides wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening.

It should be emphasized that neither the statement by the State Department nor the statement by Nides noted that the murderers were Palestinian.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog criticized Nides’ statement:

“Today, yet another heinous Palestinian terror attack claimed the lives of 4 innocent Israeli civilians. There is no justification whatsoever for the targeting and killing of innocent civilians. It must be unequivocally condemned. Any attempt of a so-called ‘balanced’ condemnation is misguided and disrespectful to the memory of the victims,” Ambassador Herzog said.

“In recent months, terror activities in the northern part of the West Bank have escalated as the Palestinian Authority has lost effective security control. Jenin, where the IDF recently operated, has become an Iranian terror stronghold, located just minutes away from Israeli population centers. Replete with hundreds of armed terrorists and laboratories working to produce lethal explosive devices and rockets, this ‘capital’ of terror has become the main springboard of terror attacks against Israelis,” he added.

“Mr. Ambassador, It seems that you are confused – there are no ‘civilian deaths’ here, there are despicable murderers on the one hand and people defending their lives on the other,” tweeted MK Ohad Tal of the Religious Zionism party. “As a senior diplomat, you should know how to differentiate between good and evil and between light and darkness.”

Likud MK Eliyahu Revivo tweeted that “this is not about ‘deaths’ but a massacre carried out by despicable and vile murderers.”

Abe Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, joined in the criticism.

“Unfortunate statement from Israel’s best friend and ally,” Foxman tweeted. “It borders on moral equivalency!”

Following the criticism, Nides issued a new tweet in which he wrote: “I condemn in the strongest terms the senseless murder of four innocent Israelis today — my heart is with their grieving family members.”

Other responses to the murder of four Jews were equally disturbing. Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, tweeted, “Deeply alarmed by the continuing cycle of violence & appalled by the continued loss of civilian lives. I strongly condemn today’s shooting attack by a Palestinian perpetrator(s) in the [occupied] #WestBank which resulted in the killing of four Israelis.”

Wennesland then urged Israel to refrain from responding to the Palestinian terrorist attack.

I urge all sides to refrain from steps that could further enflame an already volatile situation.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan responded with a tweet illustrated by a photo of Palestinians celebrating the murder of Jews.

“My heart aches to hear the news of 4 innocent Israelis murdered by despicable Palestinian terrorists,” Erdan wrote. “I send my condolences to the families of the victims. The @UN’s empty condemnations mean nothing. The UN’s representatives make immoral and false comparisons between a democracy neutralizing terrorists posing imminent threats and vicious terrorists targeting innocent civilians. Calling it a “cycle of violence” only gives the green light for the terrorists to continue. The UN does not demand accountability from Abu Mazen, who refuses to even condemn the murders, while he continues to pay salaries to terrorists and allow sick celebrations on his streets. This Palestinian behavior cannot be tolerated.

David Rubin, a resident of Shiloh in Samaria, was wounded in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 2001 that left his three-year-old son battling for his life. In 2004, he established the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund in order to help children living in the biblical heartland to recover from trauma. He responded strongly to the attack.

“I urge our political leadership to finally order the army to take aggressive offensive action to clear out the terrorist strongholds in Samaria,” Rubin said. “This terror attack, literally in our backyard will sharply increase the trauma of thousands of already scarred children in our communities.”

“The attack happened in the local gas station on the Shiloh-Eli highway, which has a popular humus restaurant that is frequented by many local families, as well as tourists.”

“I call on all of our friends around the world to stand with us at this difficult time by sending a donation to SICF. A donation to renewed life and healing in the biblical heartland is the best response to the evil culture of terrorist hate.”

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