Top US official calls on Abbas to condemn ‘barbaric’ settlement attack

Jason Greenblatt asks when Palestinian leaders will speak out against deadly assault in Adam

A picture taken on July 26, 2018 shows Israeli security forces at the Adam settlement in the West Bank where a stabbing attack took place. (AFP PHOTO / Ahmad GHARABLI)
A picture taken on July 26, 2018 shows Israeli security forces at the Adam settlement in the West Bank where a stabbing attack took place. (AFP PHOTO / Ahmad GHARABLI)

A top US official charged with brokering Middle East peace blasted the Palestinian Authority late Thursday for its failure to condemn a terror attack inside a settlement that left one man dead and another with moderate injuries.

Special envoy Jason Greenblatt described the assault inside Adam, in the West Bank north of the Jerusalem as, “Yet another barbaric attack.”

“When will President Abbas and Palestinian leaders condemn the violence? Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families tonight,” he wrote on Twitter.

The comment came after a Palestinian teen sneaked into Adam and stabbed three people before being shot and killed. One victim, a 31-year-old man, later succumbed to his wounds. Another man was listed in moderate condition after being taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. A third victim suffered light wounds, according to the Magen David Adom rescue service.

The attack occurred at 9 p.m, and few politicians in Israel or abroad, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke out against the incident.

US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 25, 2017. (FLASH90)

In a brief statement posted to Twitter, opposition head Tzipi Livni said she supported the security forces in their battle against terror.

Greenblatt has been a frequent critic of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and has traded barbs with top Palestinian official Saeb Erekat. His rhetoric has at times echoed Israeli claims of PA support for terror and incitement.

After the attack, Culture Minister Miri Regev said the assailant had been “filled with incitement” from the PA.

Earlier on Thursday, Greenblatt tweeted support for Israel’s right to defend itself against “bad actors”, likely a reference to military confrontations with Hamas in Gaza and with Syria and the Islamic State on the Golan.

The settlement attack — the first major terror incident to strike Israel in several months and the first fatal assault on civilians since March — comes as the US was reportedly putting final touches on a long-awaited peace plan.

On Wednesday, a White House official said a rollout strategy was being formulated and the plan would include an economic package for the Palestinians.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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