Reiterating Obama, the State Department urges restraint on both sides.
Chairman of House Foreign Relations C’tee says US should be under no illusion that unity gov’t wants peace.
In a statement issued to the press, US President Barack Obama balanced a message of empathy as a father with a call for restraint from a leader familiar with spiraling conflicts in the Middle East.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki walked a fine line briefing reporters this afternoon in Washington on the development, urging restraint to the government in Jerusalem enraged by the finding, and to Palestinian authorities braced for retribution for the killing.
“The kidnapping and, of course, any harm that has been done to these teenagers is a tragedy,” she said, adding for confirmation: “I would point you to the government of Israel.”
US law requires the government inform next of kin of death, should an American citizen be killed. Indeed, one of the boys, Fraenkel, held US citizenship.
Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee Ed Royce (R-CA) said that the perpetrators must be “held accountable” for the act.
“The brutal murder of these boys should leave the Administration with no illusion that a Hamas-backed Palestinian government will be a partner for peace. With these killings, the genocidal intent of Hamas has been laid bare yet again.”
The boys went missing 18 days ago, prompting fury from the Israeli population and its government, and condemnation from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – but near silence from Hamas, a terrorist organization taking part in the Palestinian government.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has publicly accused Hamas of culpability. And while the US government would not confirm their involvement, the State Department has said the kidnapping was a hallmark Hamas tactic.
“Every parent’s greatest fear is harm coming to his or her child, and so I can’t imagine what the parents of Gil-ad, Naftali, and Eyal are experiencing on this sad day,” ranking member of the committee Eliot Engel (D-NY) said. “I hope whoever is responsible for this evil is brought swiftly to justice.”
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Brothers-Keeper/US-prepares-difficult-response-to-the-death-of-Israels-boys-balancing-sympathy-and-restraint-361066