Trump Mideast Envoy Greenblatt Condemns Settler Violence in the West Bank

Throwing rocks at vehicles who have nothing to do with terrorist attacks is not a legitimate response, Greenblatt says

FILE PHOTO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 14, 2017.
Mohamad Torokman / REUTERS

 The Trump administration’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, denounced on Friday the violence used by Jewish extremists in the West Bank against Palestinian civilians. Greenblatt wrote in a tweet on his official account that while Palestinian terror attacks are “unconscionable,” there is no justification for violence against Palestinian civilians in reply to those attacks.

“The recent Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis are unconscionable. But throwing rocks at vehicles who have nothing to do with these attacks is NOT a legitimate response,” Greenblatt wrote. “Innocent people could be killed.”

Earlier this week, Greenblatt also denounced posters that were placed around key traffic junctions in the West Bank calling for the assassination of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. The posters by far-right Israeli extremists were a response to recent terror attacks in settlements.

Greenblatt stated that “Just like I condemn incitement from the Palestinian side, I condemn the incitement calling for the assassination of President Abbas. This is completely unacceptable! All peace-loving people should condemn actions like this as well.”

Following several attacks against Israeli military and civilians in the West Bank during the past week, the Israel Defense Forces announced forces were bolstered in the area, particularly around Israeli settlements. 120 mobile shelters were erected in about two dozen bus stops on West Bank roads.

The Israeli army said it operated in Ramallah on Thursday night as the manhunt continues for the shooters responsible for a deadly drive-by attack in which two Israeli soldiers were killed and another two were wounded, and in which the perpetrator stole a soldier's weapon before fleeing.