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U.S. is ‘closely following’ Israel’s killing of 2 youths at demo, seeks ‘transparent’ investigation

Israel/Palestine
on 29 Comments

The State Department says it is counting on the Israeli government to conduct a “prompt and transparent” investigation of Israeli forces’ killings of two youths on Nakba Day last Thursday near Ofer prison. It is “closely following this incident” and questions whether the use of force was proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators.

In questions at 52:00 in the video above, Matt Lee of AP says that the shooting appear to have been sniper fire. Jen Psaki of State is careful to express no judgment on the disturbing video.

Matt Lee: There’s this video footage that surfaced yesterday, and more to the point today, showing what appears to be snipers shooting and fatally wounding two Palestinian teenagers. Have you seen this video? If you have, do you – have you talked to the Israelis about it? What’s your reaction?

MS. PSAKI: We are closely following this incident in the video. We’re seeking additional information from the Government of Israel, so we certainly have been in touch. We look to the Government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident, including whether or not the use of force was proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators. We express, of course, our condolences to the families of those deceased and urge all parties to exercise restraint.
Lee: Judging from what you have seen on this video, was the response proportional to the threat?
MS. PSAKI: We’re not going to make an evaluation on that from here. We are encouraging the Government of Israel to conduct their own investigation.
Lee: Do you – what have the Israelis told you in response to your query? That they’re – that they are investigating?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any other update. I can check and see if there’s more a response from their end.
Lee: Do you have any reason to – people have looked at the video, right?
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
Lee: Do you all have any reason to believe that it was edited in some way to make it appear different than the actual reality on the ground?
MS. PSAKI: Not that I’m aware of, Matt. But obviously, an investigation is the right step in this process.
Lee: Okay. And then one more that’s just kind of related to this, and also on journalists —
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
Lee: Have you seen that there was a – reports or claims that an Israeli journalist was roughed up, nearly lynched by Palestinians in the same kind of – around this same area? Have you seen those?
MS. PSAKI: I haven’t seen that. Obviously, that would raise serious concerns. But let me look into it more closely with our team.
QUESTION: (Off-mike.)
MS. PSAKI: Said.
QUESTION: The British Government is establishing a legal office for the Palestinians in Jerusalem for recourse on issues such as this that concern – are you – do you have any plans to do the same thing, to emulate the British and perhaps provide the Palestinians with some legal aid when they need it?
MS. PSAKI: We provide the Palestinians a range of assistance. I’m not aware of anything new and I don’t have anything new to announce.
QUESTION: Okay. Following up on yesterday’s discussion regarding the government: Do you have any more information regarding accepting a government, a coalition government that includes Hamas if they do accept the Quartet principles?
MS. PSAKI: Again, the announcement was the creation of an interim government of independent technocrats. Obviously, we don’t have the details at this point. Abiding by the Quartet principles has long been our view – or our requirement. So we’ll base our assessment on – when we have more information.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MS. PSAKI: Okay. Thanks, everyone.

Oh and there was this on Naftali Bennett’s move to annex Area C. Bennett is a member of the government, but notice how the State Department washes its hands of Bennett, and wraps its arms around Netanyahu:

QUESTION: In terms of that, I had asked a question yesterday about Minister Bennett’s Area C annexation idea.
MS. PSAKI: Yes.
QUESTION: Do you have a response to that?
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
QUESTION: And then I have another one about this shooting.
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm. Well, we have seen similar statements to Minister Bennett’s. We’ve seen them in the past. They don’t reflect the position of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government. Our position is clear. Final status issues including borders can only be resolved through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and obviously we believe that’s the proper place for addressing them.
QUESTION: So if there was a movement to go ahead within – even within the government, you would tell the Prime Minister that you think that this is a bad idea? Is that correct?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we’ve stated that. But it also doesn’t reflect his view, either, so —
QUESTION: Who?
MS. PSAKI: Prime Minister Netanyahu.
QUESTION: Oh, Netanyahu. Okay.

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29 Responses

  1. James North
    James North
    May 21, 2014, 9:42 am

    Matt Lee once again shows what a good reporter is supposed to do. Maybe the NYTimes should hire him and send him over to cover Israel/Palestine?

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      May 21, 2014, 3:03 pm

      Matt Lee has been extraordinary for quite some time. Others sheepishly have followed a bit. Really something that Psaki said “we are closely following this incident in the video” Movement

      Wonder if the state dept ever got back to Colonel Anne Wright who had written to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the murder of U.S. citizen Furgan Dogan who was 19 when IDF blew holes in his body at close range during the Flotilla massacre. I believe a few bullets were into the back of his head.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    May 21, 2014, 9:43 am

    “We look to the Government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident, including whether or not the use of force was proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators.”

    Hollow words that amount to nothing. This too, like many other barbaric murders, including the killing of a Jordanian judge, by this brutal, lying, bunch of criminals in Israeli uniforms, will fizzle out, and the US will continue it’s pampering of the murderers.

    • amigo
      amigo
      May 21, 2014, 11:54 am

      “We look to the Government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident,”Psaki

      The USA asks Israel if it has spied on them and the response is , no. IOW , Israel lies through it,s teeth and then Psaki looks to Israel to tell the truth about IDF thugs murdering Palestinians.

      Please, Psaki , this is Apartheid Israel you are dealing with.

      • Basilio
        Basilio
        May 22, 2014, 6:30 am

        It’s like asking a fox to guard the hen-house. The Israelis have long been ethnically cleansing Palestinians by removing them from their lands, destroying their homes, who’s really going to care if people are murdered.
        Now, if they killed 5 year old kids in a blatant way maybe Israelis would be upset, but, otherwise, there would be little fuss.

    • annie
      annie
      May 21, 2014, 12:36 pm

      Hollow words that amount to nothing.

      i agree. there’s simply no evidence the US government would take any meaningful action to seek retribution regardless of the outcome of an israeli ‘investigation’ anyway. israel investigating itself is a farce. the US has israel on a carrot diet, that is not going to change as far as i can see. regardless of the outcome they will get carrots, never a stick.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        May 21, 2014, 1:49 pm

        Agreed. Israel “investigating” itself, will be like O.J.Simpson trying to find Nicole Simpson’s killer.

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 21, 2014, 9:48 am

    Wouldn’t surprise me at all if Matt Lee was suddenly found a victim of his own suicide.

  4. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    May 21, 2014, 11:46 am

    ”We look to the Government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident, including whether or not the use of force was proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators. We express, of course, our condolences to the families of those deceased and urge all parties to exercise restraint.”

    Once you hear the phrase ”urge all parties to exercise restraint” you can be absolutely certain that what you are listening to is utterly meaningless, and this is the case here. The spokesperson is taking for granted that some sort of ‘threat’ was posed to the occupation soldiers, the only question is if the ‘response’ was ‘proportionate’ or not. And as for expecting Israel to ever conduct anything approaching a ‘transparent’ investigation of its own forces, that’s a sick joke.

  5. Shuki
    Shuki
    May 21, 2014, 12:06 pm

    It is troubling that this type of staged propaganda is even seriously considered by the US State department.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      May 21, 2014, 12:31 pm

      Shuki in response to the ongoing Nakba:
      “It is troubling that this type of staged propaganda is even seriously considered by the US State department.”

      Holocaust denier in response to a State Department statement commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz:
      “It is troubling that this type of staged propaganda is even seriously considered by the US State department.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        May 21, 2014, 2:58 pm

        Heh, looks like the Israeli Ministry of (mis)Information did not send talking points to the robots today. :))

    • annie
      annie
      May 21, 2014, 12:33 pm

      you think killing kids is staged propaganda? or do you reject the idea palestinians should protest the incarceration of their children, parents, siblings and loved ones in a military system w/a 99.74 (and 99.88 for children!) conviction rate. is that your idea of ‘staged propaganda’? or do you believe they should just roll over and take it for decades and decades.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        May 22, 2014, 1:37 am

        I believe that when Palestinians stop treating any militant who murders an Israeli Jew (or Arab) as a martyr and/or a hero will be the day that Israelis would learn a very good lesson about how their avowed enemy is changing and that they should be changing as well. I believe when Palestinian mothers stop making vids holding their babies and saying we would gladly give our beloved children for our cause…. and when Israelis stop hearing comments like “we love death more then you love life” as a type of war cry then maybe Israel will slacken its own war-time policies. But not before. People-both people-have to become sick and tired of fighting and when they are truly worn out-they will change.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      May 21, 2014, 12:49 pm

      It’s SO BLOODY OBVIOUS that the ‘divert deny distract’ line coming out of Hasbara Central is: Staged Video. Rinse and repeat.

      SO obvious.

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      May 21, 2014, 1:26 pm

      It is troubling that this type of staged propaganda is even seriously considered by the US State department.

      No, it’s troubling that the State Department didn’t demand that those responsible be brought to justice.

    • adele
      adele
      May 21, 2014, 1:40 pm

      Shuki is in desperado mode flinging anything out there, his/her insinuation doesn’t even make sense and anybody (besides zio-heads) reading it will give it a cursory look and think: “Huh????”

      Thanks Shuki, keep posting your nonsense, it gives Palestinians more credibility (not that they need it but your contributions are all the same appreciated).

    • justicewillprevail
      justicewillprevail
      May 21, 2014, 4:05 pm

      I agree with your incredulity at the state department’s swallowing of the staged propaganda which Israel daily delivers to the US. Their latest effort at denial is particularly pathetic, offensive and with a callousness typical of their utter indifference to human life outside of their own self-regarding little circus act.

  6. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    May 21, 2014, 1:45 pm

    a better heading would be

    US looks to the Government of Israel to conduct a transparent investigation into Israel’s killing of 2 youths.

    this heading sums up the US complicity in israeli war crimes, asking the criminal for transparency to investigate his own crime.

  7. seafoid
    seafoid
    May 21, 2014, 2:06 pm

    The old blood libel. They get very upset about that matzo business which was very unfair.

    The new blood libel. Killing Palestinians on a whim is kosher.

  8. just
    just
    May 21, 2014, 3:48 pm

    My take:

    Q: So you and our current administration believes that it is all fine & good that the IOF murders/assassinates Palestinians in cold blood?
    Psaki: Mm-hmm.
    Q: And you trust the Israelis to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation?
    Psaki: Mm-hmm.
    Q: Do you believe that Israel is always right and complies with international law?
    Psaki: Mm-hmm.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    May 21, 2014, 4:00 pm

    RE: “U.S. is ‘closely following’ Israel’s killing of 2 youths at demo, seeks ‘transparent’ investigation

    MY COMMENT: Yeah, like the transparent investigation into the death of Rachel Corrie that George W. Bush asked Ariel Sharon to carry out. Good luck with that!
    Anyway, whatever investigation might eventually be carried out will be called transparent by Israel no matter how opaque.

    • just
      just
      May 21, 2014, 4:07 pm

      They’re not even opaque. They are buried lies followed by a happy dance.

      Nobody ever gets punished but the victims and their families.

  10. ckg
    ckg
    May 21, 2014, 4:25 pm

    As of now, the transcript of Wednesday’s Daily Briefing hasn’t been published, but Matt Lee tweets this gem:

    [email protected]: #Israel “in the lead” on shooting incident probe. “It’s events happening on their soil and we would support that effort.”

    Their soil?

    • just
      just
      May 21, 2014, 4:29 pm

      nice, real nice.

      About sums it up, eh?

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      May 21, 2014, 5:26 pm

      You are right, they claim it is their land every time they set foot on the other side.
      In reality even their soil is stolen:
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/west-bank-settlers-stealing-tons-of-soil-from-palestinian-land.premium-1.469522

      They have no shame, and are very dishonest. Every thing they see, and belongs to the Palestinians, they must steal. From land, water, trees, and soil.

    • ckg
      ckg
      May 21, 2014, 7:05 pm

      The now released official U.S. State Dept transcript supports Matt’s quote (as does the video):

      MS. PSAKI: We do. And we also have deep respect for the Israeli army’s moral code, which is exactly why there should be an investigation. And I believe in the foreign minister’s comments he also referenced a plan for an investigation or a desire to have an investigation, or the Israelis can call an investigation. We certainly support that. They’re in the lead; it is events happening on their soil, and we would support that effort.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    May 21, 2014, 6:12 pm

    RE: There’s this video footage that surfaced yesterday, and more to the point today, showing what appears to be snipers shooting and fatally wounding two Palestinian teenagers. ~ Matt Lee

    MY COMMENT: Perhaps one of the thousands of Israeli soldiers who resent having their hands tied by the IDF took this opportunity to give the IDF a little demonstration of how to appropriately deal with Palestinian punks.*

    *SEE: “Thousands of Israeli soldiers protest ‘their hands are tied’ while serving in the occupied territories”
    Posted on May 2, 2014 by Annie Robbins

    A video recorded in Hebron (al-Khalīl) last Sunday by Youth Against Settlements (YAS) has set off a firestorm of protest by soldiers in the Israeli military. The video shows a soldier brandishing and aiming a loaded weapon at a boy who was clearly was not a danger to him. In the wake of the Hebron video, soldiers are “demanding that the state of Israel give them the opportunity to appropriately deal with the challenges they encounter in the field.”
    LINK – http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/thousands-occupied-territories.html

  12. Accentitude
    Accentitude
    May 22, 2014, 1:50 am

    Anyone who knows the IDF (and to a larger extent, the Israeli government) knows that “transparent”, they are not. Every time something happens and an internal Israeli investigation is conducted, 99.999% of the time, the IDF is found completely and totally innocent based on evidence that is not made publicly available, on research and investigations that are not documented and, if they are, are withheld from public knowledge. The truth is that the IDF is a fraternity that covers for its own, no matter what the charges are. If you served in the IDF, you’ll be set for life and well protected. Even if you are war criminal.

    Even though Israel claims that it will conduct an investigation into the killing of these two kids, it seems that they have already determined the outcome before they even began:

    “In a statement after the incident the IDF said, “Last Thursday, a violent and illegal disturbance took place in Betunia. The video in question was edited in a biased way and does not reflect the violence in the disturbance.

    “An initial investigation with the forces operating in area of disturbance did not use live fire. Nevertheless, the military prosecutor has ordered a limited internal investigation into the matter.” – as seen on Haaretz: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.591912

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