Secretary of State John Kerry today decried the recent spate of violence against Israelis, stressing that “we mourn any loss of innocent life, Israeli or Palestinian.”
The statement from Kerry came a day after Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, tweeted out a directive that sounds a lot like intifada: “Al
#Qassam Brigades call on Palestinians across the #WestBank, #Jerusalem & #Gaza for confronting Zionist occupation everywhere. #SaveAlAqsa”
Four stabbing attacks on Israelis occurred within a span of 12 hours in Jerusalem on Monday. All of the Palestinian assailants were in their teens.
Today, a Palestinian terrorist, who was employed in Jerusalem by Bezeq phone company, rammed a crowd at a bus stop then started hacking the wounded with a meat cleaver. A 60-year-old rabbi was killed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a special session of the Knesset today that he’ll be taking unspecified steps to quash “murderers and those who want to kill, and anyone who helps them.”
“Not only won’t they have any rights, but we will extract the full price from them,” he said.
Netanyahu also called upon Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “stop lying, stop inciting” about culpability for terror attacks — i.e., making the Palestinian teen who stabbed a 13-year-old Jewish boy a “holy martyr” even though he’s still alive and even though “he was not executed, he wanted to execute others, to murder and kill” — and about the Temple Mount.
“You must fight the extremists who are causing civilians to pay the highest price,” Netanyahu said. “The wild and deceitful indictment against us continues.”
“Don’t turn murderers into heroes,” he added, reminding Abbas that he has a duty to lead.
Kerry’s statement said “the United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, which resulted in the murder of three Israelis and left numerous others wounded.”
“We mourn any loss of innocent life, Israeli or Palestinian. We continue to stress the importance of condemning violence and combating incitement,” he said. “We are in regular contact with the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.”
“We remain deeply concerned about escalating tensions and urge all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm and prevent actions that would further escalate tensions.”
The Knesset approved the first reading of Netanyahu’s plan for minimum prison sentences on those who throw rocks, firebombs and other projectiles. Another bill would fine minors’ parents for their kids’ rock-throwing.
“This legislation which I initiated is one of the measures adopted by the Cabinet in the framework of the fight against terrorism,” Netanyahu said. “There will be additional measures.”