United States Condemns Jerusalem Truck-ramming Attack

White House, State Department and senators on both sides of the political divide express support for Israel and condolences for victims.

A victim of the truck-ramming is carried away from the scene of the attack in Jerusalem, January 8, 2017.
Olivier Fitoussi

The White House, U.S. State Department and a number of senators condemned on Sunday the attack in Jerusalem which resulted in the death of four Israeli soldiers. The attack, in which a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem hit a group of soldiers with his truck near Jerusalem's Armon Hanatziv Promenade, was described as "horrific" in a statement issued by the White House.

"The United States condemns in the strongest terms today's horrific terrorist attack in Jerusalem," a statement issued by the White House said. "Such cowardly acts can never be justified, and we call on all to send a clear and unequivocal message that terrorism must never be tolerated. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and our hopes for quick and full recovery for those who were wounded."

The State Department said there was "absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks." It added that the U.S. condemns "the glorification of terrorism now or at any time," and that "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the four Israeli soldiers who were killed, and we hope for a full and fast recovery of those injured."

On Capitol Hill, a number of leading senators spoke out in the hours after the ramming attack to express support for Israel and condemn the deadly violence in Jerusalem. "I strongly condemn today's heinous terrorist attack in Jerusalem that killed at least four Israelis," wrote Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) on her Twitter account. In a subsequent tweet, she added that "There is simply no justification for such a cowardly act and I call on Palestinian leaders to reject it without reservation." Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) wrote: "Concerned by attack in Jerusalem. Praying for all those impacted. We stand in solidarity w/ Israel against terrorism." 

On the Republican side, the attack was strongly condemned by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who called it "despicable" and added that "America stands with Israel in the face of terrorism." Rubio made headlines last week by proposing legislation to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and by offering a bipartisan resolution, together with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) condemning the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also responded to the events in Jerusalem. "IDF soldiers bravely defend the people of Israel, protect them and keep them safe," he wrote in a statement. "The terrorists targeting them are the enemies of peace which can never be achieved while terror groups like Hamas incite violence."

In addition, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City's mayor, Bill de Blasio, reacted to the attack. "NYC stands with Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and everyone affected by the unspeakable terror attack in Jerusalem," de Blasio wrote on Twitter. In a statement, Cuomo wrote that he is "deeply saddened" by the attack, and that "in times of crisis, friends stand shoulder to shoulder with each other."