Trump Adviser Praises Palestinian Delegation's Condolence Visit to Murdered Teen's Family

A joint Israeli-Palestinian delegation paid a visit Tuesday to the family of Ori Ansbacher, a 19-year-old Israeli murdered near Jerusalem

Israelis demonstrate after the murder of Ori Ansbacher, Jerusalem, February 10, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi

WASHINGTON –U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, praised on Wednesday a delegation of Palestinians who visited the grieving family of Ori Ansbacher, a 19-year-old Israeli murdered last week by a Palestinian from Hebron.

Greenblatt tweeted a story published by The Times of Israel about the delegation, which was organized by the co-existence group “Tag Meir,” and wrote: “These are the stories we need to hear and learn from. Peace can only take hold and succeed with this kind of respect and common humanity.”

>> Read more: Shin Bet: Murder of Israeli teen near Jerusalem 'nationalistically motivated' ■ Swift operation led to capture of Israeli teen's suspected murderer, who likely acted alone

Haaretz correspondent Nir Hasson reported earlier this week that the delegation included some 20 activists from Tag Meir, an organization that fights hate crimes on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as 10 Palestinians from Ramallah, Wadi Fuchin, Husan and Jericho.

The group, which visited the family's home in the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, also brought many letters of condolence penned by Palestinians.

The delegation was accompanied by Meretz MK Mossi Raz and by the CEO of the New Israel Fund, Mickey Gitzin.

In a subsequent series of tweets, Greenblatt also responded to a report by Haaretz about the fact that no Palestinian armed group claimed responsibility for Ansbacher’s murder because she was raped by the assailant. “What about the shooting of the pregnant mother Shira Ish-Ran (whose baby Amiad Yisrael died as a result) and the countless other civilian victims of Palestinian terror attacks? Where was the condemnation?” Greenblatt wrote. 

He added that attacks on Israeli soldiers, which Palestinian armed and terror groups see as legitimate targets since they are part of an occupying military force, hurt the Palestinian cause. “Attacks on Israeli soldiers help no one,” Greenblatt wrote. “They advance no cause. They are just brutal, abhorrent attacks. These attacks prevent the Palestinians from achieving a thriving future in the region.”

Greenblatt is part of the small team in the Trump administration working on a plan for Middle East peace. The Palestinian Authority refuses to engage with the team because it believes the proposed plan will be tilted and biased toward Israel, and will serve as a way to entrench the military occupation in the West Bank.