Two Israeli soldiers were killed by Palestinians in recent days, renewing criticism of Palestinian leaders accused of inciting violence and failing to prepare the Palestinian public for co-existence with the Jewish state and rattling U.S.-backed peace negotiations:
In a statement concerning both attacks, the United States said such incidents “undermine efforts to establish the positive atmosphere the parties need to progress in peace negotiation.”
A 20-year-old soldier was kidnapped and murdered by a Palestinian co-worker on Friday and a second soldier was killed by a sniper on Sunday while protecting Jewish worshipers celebrating the holiday of Sukkot in the town of Hebron.
Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders pointedly declined to condemn the murders:
The Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister said Monday that the slaying of two Israeli soldiers by Palestinians in separate incidents in three days should not influence peace negotiations. The statement marked the only official comment on the issue from Palestinian officials, who refrained from condemning the killings.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s office went so far as to declare itself unaware of any condemnations which may or may not have been issued by Palestinian officials.
Observers have, for decades, expressed concerns that the glorification of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish terrorism – which has been conducted at the highest levels of the Palestinian political echelon – would endanger the prospects for a final negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
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