What’s the US saying about Palestine, today? Oct. 29th edition
At the U.S. State Department daily press hearing on Thursday, a question in regards to the terrorist attack that happened more than three months ago in the village of Duma in Palestine, where an Israeli settler burned a Palestinian family. The reporter asked the State Department spokesperson John Kirby about Israel’s lack of progress in the investigation:
QUESTION: I wanted to ask on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. May we change topics?
MR KIRBY: Okay, go ahead.
QUESTION: Okay. First of all, let me ask you, it’s been three months since Israeli terrorists, as you termed them, attacked the village of Duma and burned a Palestinian family alive basically.
MR KIRBY: Yeah.
QUESTION: And the Israelis promised that they will bring to justice those – the perpetrators. Have you – it’s been three months and nothing has happened, although when the Palestinians commit similar acts, the Israelis go and get them right away. Have the Israelis – have you talked to them about making good on that promise?
MR KIRBY: I don’t share the details of our diplomatic conversations, Said. You know that. We’ve – we made clear at the time our views of that attack. And the Secretary was just in the region, as you know, a week or so ago meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, meeting with President Abbas, meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, and came out of those meetings, as he said to all of you, with a measure of optimism that things could move in a better direction. And I think he still shares that measure of optimism as we move forward.
Obviously, what matters here – and I recognize your question is about a specific attack.
QUESTION: Right, right, right.
MR KIRBY: I’m going to let the Israelis speak to whatever investigating they’re doing. That’s not for us to speak to. What we want to see in a larger, broader context is the violence to stop, calm to be restored, and for any actions – whether it’s in word or deed – that contributes to greater violence, we want to see that stop too.
QUESTION: Mm-hmm. Well, on that particular issue, considering that the Israeli minister of defense who was in town here said at the time that they know who the perpetrators were but they don’t want to arrest them because that could compromise intelligence sources and so on, is that an acceptable answer to you?
MR KIRBY: You’re asking me to speak about the investigative policies of Israel, and I won’t do that. I mean, they made clear they were investigating.
MR KIRBY: I don’t know the status of that. And even if I did, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to speak to it. You really should direct those questions to the Israeli – to Israeli authorities.
QUESTION: Okay. But on this issue, you still expect them to come through and clean on this issue?
MR KIRBY: I would just point you to what the Israelis have said themselves, which is that they are investigating it. And I mean, I think these are great questions to ask them, not me.
QUESTION: Okay. And finally, it is said that New Zealand, a member of the Security Council, is about to submit a proposal that will see Israel stop all settlement activities in exchange for the Palestinians stopping their efforts at the ICC. Would you support such a resolution – or a draft resolution?
MR KIRBY: I thought I had something in here on that. Let me get back to you on that, Said.
QUESTION: Okay, thank you.
MR KIRBY: I’m being told it’s in the front of the book. Hold on a second. Wait a minute. Here you go.
MR KIRBY: Thank you, Elizabeth.
We’re aware that New Zealand has shared a draft UN Security Council resolution. As we’ve said in the past, we’ll carefully consider our future engagement at the UN on this issue and determine how to most effectively advance the objective we all share in achieving a negotiated two-state solution. Okay? Thank you, Elizabeth. Appreciate the assist.