US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power on Tuesday condemned recent Palestinian terror attacks in the West Bank that left two Israelis dead, as well as incitement to violence within the Palestinian Authority.
Dafna Meir, 38, was killed last week when a Palestinian teen broke into her house in Otniel and stabbed her to death in front of her children. Shlomit Krigman, 23, was laid to rest Tuesday in Jerusalem, close to Meir’s grave, a day after she was stabbed in an attack in Beit Horon.
Power also condemned the recent Israeli announcement on the establishment of a new settlement in the Etzion settlement bloc, Israel Radio reported. But, she told the Security Council, while the United States “strongly opposes settlement activity” it believes that “settlement activity can never in itself be an excuse for violence.”
Power’s comments came after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Palestinian terrorism was a reaction to the conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank. “As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation,” the UN chief said, sparking outrage in Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the remarks, and accused Ban of “stoking terror.”
“There is no justification for terrorism,” Netanyahu said. “The Palestinian terrorists don’t want to build a state; they want to destroy a state, and they say that proudly. They want to murder Jews everywhere and they state that proudly. They don’t murder for peace and they don’t murder for human rights.”
The UN has “lost its neutrality and its moral force, and these statements by the Secretary-General do nothing to improve its situation,” Netanyahu said shortly after the remarks, in a Hebrew video statement. The remarks, the prime minister said, “stoke terror.”
Ban had attributed the terror attacks in the past four months, in which more than 25 Israelis have been killed, to “Palestinian frustration.”
“Stabbings, vehicle attacks, and shootings by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians – all of which I condemn — and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, have continued to claim lives,” Ban had said earlier in the day at a session of the UN Security Council.