An Israeli official brushed off the use of the term “terror attack” by the US in a rare condemnation of Israeli violence against Palestinians by Washington, after the killing of a Palestinian youngster in the West Bank.
A court ruled one of the Jewish settlers held as suspects be released to house arrest as the Israeli police arrested two settlers over the August 4 killing of a 19-year-old near the Palestinian village of Burqa.
The suspects’ lawyers claimed that the two individuals were part of a self-defense shooting at a large group of rock-throwers, according to Saudi-backed news website, Al Arabiya, August 8.
With US-sponsored peacemaking stalled for almost a decade, The country has watched worriedly as West Bank violence continues, including with settler revenge riots in which many Palestinians, among them US dual nationals, have been victims of property damage.
The US State Department near East Bureau said on August 5,“We strongly condemn yesterday’s terror attack by Israeli extremist settlers,” in its first application of the term when discussing settler violence.
Democrat US President Joe Biden is seen by many as being staunchly pro-Israel as some on the left of his party have called on the president to condemn the continuing land-grab by Israel’s government.
The United States has sold Israel $7.2 billion in weaponry and military equipment over the past decade.
Police initially accused the settlers of “deliberate or depraved-indifference homicide” with a racist motivation, though a member of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet argued that culpability for the Burqa death was still unclear.
“I wouldn’t advise treating the US definition as a precise professional definition. At the end of the day, they are not drawing on intelligence, but on media reports,” said Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter.
Mr. Dichter is a former counterterrorism chief for Israel’s Shin Bet security service.
“Everything gets poured into media reports – things that are correct, things that are wrong, tendentious, and other things. In the end of the day, what is important as far as we are concerned is what happened there,” the minister said on Israel’s Army Radio.
Jerusalem District Court heard arguments that the suspects should be freed pending possible prosecution.
One of the suspects has been hospitalized following the killing.
It ruled one should be released to house arrest while the other will be kept in hospital.
This led to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry bashing the court decision, saying it would encourage further violence.
Israeli forces arrested five Palestinians from Burqa village in a supposed attempt to expand the investigation. They are due to appear before a military court in the West Bank.