The State Department put out a press release a short time ago strongly condemning arson and vandalism against a mosque in the West Bank — something it didn’t do yesterday for an attack on Israel’s southern border that left an Arab-Israeli construction worker dead.
“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s provocative attack on a mosque in the West Bank village of Kfar Jabaa near Ramallah. Hateful, dangerous, and provocative actions such as these are never justified,” the release from State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland states.
“We note that the Israeli Government has condemned this heinous attack and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice. We look to Israeli law enforcement officials to do so expeditiously,” she added.
Hebrew graffiti reading “The war has just begun” and “You will pay the price” was found spray painted on a burnt mosque in the Palestinian village this morning. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “an irresponsible act of lawlessness and intolerance,” and pledged to “act swiftly to bring the culprits to justice.”
On Monday, Palestinian terrorists attacked an Israeli border fence construction site with a roadside bomb, an anti-tank missile and small arms fire, according to the IDF. Saeed Phashpashe, a father of four from Haifa, was killed, as were the three assailants. An al-Qaida-linked group calling itself “The Shura Council of Mujahideen in the Holy Land” claimed responsibility today for the attack.
In another attack, a rocket fired from Gaza exploded at Israel’s Hof Ashkelon regional council offices. Haaretz quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying the Saturday attack was carried out at the behest of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood by Bedouin in the Sinai who had been supplied by Hamas.
The attacks on Israel didn’t get a State Department press release, but were mentioned on Nuland’s list in the daily press briefing Monday after the G-20 summit and Egyptian elections.
“Let me give you something now on Israel and the violence on the Sinai border. The United States condemns today’s attacks – deadly attacks, terrorist attacks – on civilians in Israel from the Sinai and all acts of terrorism in the strongest terms,” she said. “We extend our deepest condolences to the victims, their families, and loved ones. We remain concerned about the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula and call for restraint on all sides. More broadly, we encourage the Egyptian Government to find a lasting resolution to the issue of Sinai security.”