Israel must punish Jewish ‘extremists’ like Palestinian terrorists, US official tells UN

“The United States expects to see equal treatment of extremists – whether Israeli or Palestinian – in arrests, convictions, and punishments,” Ambassador Wood stated.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

A senior Biden administration official said that Israel must devote equal resources to fighting “Jewish extremists” as they do to anti-terror efforts.

Ambassador Robert Wood, the U.S. Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs, discussed a “cycle of violence” narrative in his speech to the UN Security Council on Monday, presenting Palestinian terror and Jewish extremism as equal threats to society.

“The United States is deeply concerned by the sustained escalation of violence in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria],” Wood said, according to a transcript of his statement published by the State Department.

“The heartbreaking death of 16-year-old Jana Zakarneh is yet another tragic reminder of the human cost of this conflict and the importance of all parties to work to bring about an end to the conflict,” he said.

Wood did not provide context for Zakarneh’s slaying, which occurred during a counterterrorism raid in Jenin, a hotbed of terror, as she stood on a rooftop surrounded by armed gunmen who were shooting at IDF soldiers.

“In this regard, it is imperative that the parties take urgent action to reduce the troubling levels of extremist violence fueling instability in the West Bank,” Wood continued.

Read  When a Jew-hating Islamist organizes events for public schools

Notably, Wood did not use the word “terror” during his remarks, while equating Jewish “extremists” – who are condemned by mainstream Israeli society – with Palestinian terrorists who have murdered Israeli civilians and are rewarded by the Palestinian Authority.

“The United States expects to see equal treatment of extremists – whether Israeli or Palestinian – in arrests, convictions, and punishments, as well as equal allocation of resources to prevent and investigate violent attacks,” Wood stated.

He condemned “unilateral actions and unhelpful rhetoric” by Palestinians and Israelis, which he said “escalate tensions, fuel violence, and undermine the prospects” of a two-state solution.

Wood’s comments came shortly after State Department Spokesman Ned Price expressed “concerns” over the deportation of convicted terrorist Salah Hamouri to France.

Price said that Jerusalem told the Biden administration that the “decision [was] made out of concern for Israel’s security,” but stressed that Washington was “not in a position to assess this claim.”