The U.S. and International Community Must Hold Palestinians Accountable for Terror

My thoughts and prayers are with the Israeli people who are enduring a new escalation of Palestinian terrorism.

Last Thursday evening, a mother and father were murdered in front of their four children ages 9, 7, 4 and 4 months when Hamas terrorists opened fire on their car. A few days later, another Jewish family was walking in the Old City of Jerusalem after praying at the Western Wall when a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing attack. He murdered the father along with another courageous man who rushed to the scene to the family’s aid. Both men leave behind their wives and nine children. In addition to the four murdered, many more Israelis have been seriously wounded from car-ramming, rock-throwing, and brutal knife and screwdriver stabbing attacks in what appears to be a fresh horror—an epidemic of low-tech, brutal attacks by militants who are acting on their own initiative.

These attacks have been incubated by the continued incitement and glorification of violence by the Palestinian leadership, most recently by President Mahmoud Abbas during his address at the United Nations General Assembly. He still has yet to categorically condemn these attacks. It is long past time for the United States and the international community to hold the Palestinians accountable for their incitement and support for terrorism, including through the financial payment to Palestinian terrorists who are jailed in Israel for committing acts of terrorism.

In yet another stark reminder of how closely our nations are connected in this fight, the father murdered last Thursday, Eitam Henkin, was a dual Israeli-American citizen. The terrorist who killed him did not care, as his sole intent was to kill Jews, not to engage in a political process. There is no moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorism and the obligation of Israel to act in defense of its people. To the Israeli people, especially those who are victims of terrorism and their families: I proudly stand in solidarity with you during this challenging time.


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