Washington equates deaths of terror victim and terrorist in separate weekend attacks

The State Department called both shootings “terror attacks,” although the Israelis who shot the Palestinian said it was an act of self-defense.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The United States condemned both the weekend death of an Israeli in Tel Aviv at the hands of a terrorist on Saturday and that of a terrorist who was killed Friday when trying to attack Jews in Samaria, sending condolences to their families and demanding that justice be done.

Within moments of each other, the State Department tweeted out almost identical messages that called both incidents “terror attacks.”

“We strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack in Tel Aviv that killed one and wounded two others as well as other recent terrorist attacks against Israelis,” read the first post. “We express our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and call for an end to these acts of violence and incitement to violence.”

The second tweet said, “We strongly condemn yesterday’s terror attack by Israeli extremist settlers that killed a 19-year-old Palestinian. The US extends our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones. We note Israeli officials have made several arrests and we urge full accountability and justice.”

In the Saturday attack, Chen Amir, a municipal patrol officer, and his partner stopped a man who was acting suspiciously. When they began questioning them, he shot Amir fatally before Amir’s partner shot and killed him in return.

The pair was praised for having prevented a major terrorist attack, as the assailant was a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad who had written a letter about how he was on his way to becoming a “martyr” for the Palestinian cause.

In the Friday incident, Qusai Jamal Maatan, a 19-year-old Palestinian, was killed during a clash between Jews and Arabs in the village of Burqa east of Ramallah that each side blamed the other for starting. Two Jewish suspects were arrested for his death, one of whom is in the hospital with serious head injuries.

The Jewish men’s lawyers said that his clients had acted purely in self-defense after a mob of Arabs attacked them and others in their group. The Palestinian Health Ministry announced that Maatan was “shot dead by settlers who stormed the village.”