Home > Israel > White House, Jewish groups condemn Hamas murder of 4 Israelis

White House, Jewish groups condemn Hamas murder of 4 Israelis

WASHINGTON, D.C  (Press Release)– The following statement was issued by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack today perpetrated by Hamas in which four Israelis were killed in the southern West Bank. We express our condolences to the victims’ families and call for the terrorists behind this horrific act to be brought to justice. 

“We note that the Palestinian Authority has condemned this attack.  On the eve of the re-launch of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, this brutal attack underscores how far the enemies of peace will go to try to block progress.  It is crucial that the parties persevere, keep moving forward even through difficult times, and continue working to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region that provides security for all peoples.”

The murders also prompted press releases from the following organizations:

Anti-Defamation League: “Today’s killings of four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, in the West Bank shows that Hamas ‘is unrepentantly engaged in terrorism and violence, and dedicated to the eradication of the State of Israel.’

“The four were traveling in a car outside of the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba when they were fired upon.   Hamas claimed responsibility for the shooting.
Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
“We strongly condemn Hamas for the murder of four innocent Israelis in Kiryat Arba.
 This attack demonstrates once and again that Hamas is unrepentantly engaged in terrorism and violence, and dedicated to the eradication of the State of Israel. The fact that, according to reports, thousands of people in Gaza joined in a public celebration of the attack is grotesque. We call on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership to make clear to all Palestinians – in the West Bank and Gaza Strip – that terrorism is unacceptable, and that it undermines the Palestinian efforts for an independent state.  The U.S. Administration must also sharply condemn this incident, and make clear to the Palestinians that terrorism and incitement violate the spirit of the impending peace talks.”

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:  “We are outraged and deeply saddened by the barbaric terrorist attack that claimed the lives of four innocent people and left 10 children orphaned. Hamas has proudly taken credit for this brutal and inhumane act. The government of Israel must take the steps it deems appropriate to protect its citizens. The international community must stand behind Israel and take decisive steps to end Hamas’ reign of terror. The international condemnations of Israel for measures to defend its borders and citizens, a right accorded every other nation, only encourages the terrorists. The UN and the international community must hold to account those who aid, abet and supply terrorist organizations. The discovery in recent days in the Sinai of huge quantities of weapons destined for Hamas, including hundreds of Strela anti-aircraft missiles, underscores the urgency for decisive action.

“While the Palestinian Authority has condemned the attack, saying it harms Palestinian interests, they cannot continue to honor those responsible for terrorist attacks, declaring them shahids and allowing the incitement against Israel and Israelis to continue. The glorification of murderers will only encourage others to emulate them,” said Conference of Presidents Chairman Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.
“As the talks in Washington begin – and they should go forward – security must be the priority issue. Such bloodshed will only assure the failure of the negotiations. We know this is the terrorists’ intent and they should not be rewarded, but their threats of continued violence cannot and must not be ignored,” said Solow and Hoenlein. “We express our condolences to the families of the victims and all the people of Israel.”
Zionist Organization of America:  “The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu to cease forthwith the practice of ending road closures, removing checkpoints and other so-called ‘confidence-building measures’ for Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) after today’s terrorist attack near Hebron which resulted in the murder of four Israelis, two men and two women, one of the latter being pregnant.

“The director-general of the Yesha Council, the umbrella group of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Naftali Bennett, said that the assailants apparently fled the scene via a route opened as part of the gestures to the Palestinians after last April’s visit to Israel by U.S. envoy George Mitchell. Mitchell urged Israel to ‘make number of gestures to Palestinians, including release of prisoners, removal of checkpoints, transfer of authority over West Bank territories. Palestinian source says U.S. gave Israel “encouraging”list of demands’ (Roni Sofer, ‘Gov’t source: Israeli gestures ahead of proximity talks,’ Yediot Ahronot, April 23, 2010).

“Bennett said, ‘We learn that every gesture begets more terror and are hurting over the horrible murder of four Israelis. This is a massacre that is not meant to foil talks, but is a direct result of negotiations and talks of concessions. The prime minister, who cancelled his trip to the US due to the flotilla and death of the Turks, must now cancel his visit and be in Israel at the time of such a barbaric terror attack.’

Likud Knesset Member Zeev Elkin said, “Unfortunately, all warnings that the policy of removing checkpoints and concessions to the Palestinians would lead to terror did materialize. Defense Minister Barak must take responsibility for the security of the citizens of Israel instead of serving as the foreign minister and deal[ing] with diplomacy” (Roni Sofer, ‘Likud MK: Attack proves Palestinians don’t want peace,’ Yediot Ahronot, August 31, 2010)

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This terrible Palestinian terrorist crime against four innocent Jews shows that the shedding of innocent Jewish blood is the inevitable result of relaxing security measures, like road closures and checkpoints. The next time people hear about Israel being called upon to make ‘confidence-building gestures,’ they should remember that it means enabling scenes of carnage and tragedy like this.

“Palestinian Arab terrorists compel Israel to create checkpoints and roadblocks in order to protect the lives of innocent Jews. If there was no Palestinian terror – there would be no Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks.

“It is morally and strategically wrong to prefer the convenience of Palestinians over the lives of Israelis; and especially so, when the concessions are being made to an interlocutor like Mahmoud Abbas’ terror-promoting PA. If the PA had truly ended the promotion of hatred and violence against Jews in their media, mosques, schools and youth camps, and if they had been arresting terrorists, and if they had outlawed terrorist groups, all required by signed agreements, then Abbas would have created at least the beginnings of a peace-loving culture and then Israel could consider reducing checkpoints and roadblocks.

“This is not the first time Israelis have died because concessions on security. The murder of Rabbi Meir Chai in January by Palestinian terrorists belonging to Abbas’ Fatah – which condemned the subsequent killing by Israel of the terrorists, while glorifying the dead terrorists as heroes – was made possible by a similar, previous relaxation of security measures. This is not only obscene, but it helps to create an atmosphere and culture that encourages terrorist assaults against Israelis.

“The ZOA urges Prime Minister Netanyahu to reinstate the checkpoints and roadblocks which have helped facilitate these heinous murders of innocent Jewish people. We urge Prime Minister Netanyahu to strongly demand that incitement must now end, terrorists must be arrested, and terrorist groups must be outlawed by the PA. As a first step, the PA must immediately rename he schools, streets and sports teams named in honor of killers of Jews. Naming these after terrorists can only inspire more Palestinians to become terrorists and perpetrate acts of terror.

“The ZOA hopes Prime Minister Netanyahu will instruct the security services to re-institute the closures and checkpoints that might have detected these terrorists before they committed their foul deed or at least have enabled their capture after it.

“We also call upon President Barack Obama to desist seeking one-sided ‘confidence building measures’ from Israel. We ask him to see where these ‘gestures’ have led and to recognize that those who place pressure on Israel which leads it to make such concessions cannot afterwards disassociate themselves from the consequences. It is necessary to absorb the lesson of this tragedy and not to repeat the policies that helped produced it.”

Preceding compiled from news releases from the aboved named organizations

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