J Street is deeply worried and saddened by the ongoing surge in violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territory. We urge responsible leaders to do everything in their power to prevent the deteriorating situation from growing even worse.
We condemn today’s horrific terror attack near the settlement of Eli in the occupied West Bank, in which four Israelis were killed, and four others wounded by two Palestinian attackers. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims, as we hope for the swift recovery of those injured. Acts of terror are completely unacceptable, and only lead to more pain, suffering and loss.
We also note with alarm the intensive violence on Monday in the West Bank city of Jenin during a major IDF operation. During an exchange of fire between the IDF and Palestinian militants, six Palestinians were killed and 91 were wounded, while seven IDF soldiers and members of the Israeli border police were also wounded. Israeli military vehicles were reportedly targeted by an improvised explosive device, and attack helicopters were then dispatched to the West Bank for the first time since the Second Intifiada. Two IDF soldiers were also wounded by a car ramming attack at a West Bank checkpoint on Monday, while another Palestinian was killed near Bethlehem. Far-right members of Israel’s governing coalition are calling for the launch of a large-scale military operation in the West Bank.
The escalation in violence is incredibly disturbing and dangerous for both Israelis and Palestinians. Time and again, we have seen that the deteriorating status quo of endless conflict and permanent, deepening occupation is devastating for both peoples.
We note that Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Barbara Leaf is currently in the region for a timely visit to both Israel and the Palestinian Territory. We call on the Biden Administration to do everything in its power to reduce tensions, deter destructive moves, and prevent further violence and suffering. Proactive and determined leadership is desperately needed.