DoS Spokesperson discusses outreach to Israelis/Palestinians, 2 Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank and US calls for restraint – USDoS press briefing/Non-UN document (excerpts)

Daily Press Briefing

Washington, DC

June 20, 2014


  • U.S. Outreach to All Parties
  • Two Palestinian Fatalities in West Bank
  • U.S. Calls for Restraint / #BringBackOurBoys



1:35 p.m. EDT


QUESTION: Since we spoke last, has anything changed to sort of convince you that what Israel is doing is collective punishment?

MS. PSAKI: I have nothing to add to what I’ve stated over the last couple of days.

QUESTION: Okay. And you’re aware that maybe 200 more have been arrested since then? Homes been demolished, they raided the university, they raided a refugee camp, they destroyed a nursery today, they killed a 16-year-old Palestinian, injured many others. That does not, as far as you’re concerned, fall under collective punishment?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, as I’ve said over a couple of times, but it certainly worth repeating, we have been in touch with both parties. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and avoid steps that could destabilize the situation. We’re concerned by the death today of two Palestinians in the West Bank, and seeking additional information on the incidents that took their lives. And we’ll continue to offer our full support to the efforts by Israel and Palestinian Authority to find the three missing teenagers.

QUESTION: So do you consider what they – what Israel is doing to be proportionate to the search for the three missing young —

MS. PSAKI: I think we’ve made our position clear here, Said. I’m not going to have more to add to the comments I’ve made.

QUESTION: I have one last question on Israel.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Israel was elected to head the committee on decolonization at the UN. Do you advise the Israelis to begin by decolonizing the West Bank?

MS. PSAKI: I haven’t even seen that report, Said. If there’s more to say, I’m – I’ll happy to check.

QUESTION: Just on this, and realizing that you’re not going to go into – or I don’t think you’re going to go into whether or not you think that either side is showing restraint, but do you think that either side is listening to you and heeding your calls for restraint?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I’m not going to do a day-by-day analysis. We continue to call for it because obviously more restraint is needed.

QUESTION: And – more restraint is needed from both sides or just from one side?

MS. PSAKI: It’s important that they continue to keep that in mind as they deal with this difficult situation on the ground.

QUESTION: All right. And you said you were seeking more information about the deaths of two Palestinians from —

MS. PSAKI: Correct. Just happened today.

QUESTION: Right. From who –

MS. PSAKI: From the Israelis, I believe.

QUESTION: From the Israelis. But are you also seeking it from the Palestinian side?

MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly, from any side that has information. I believe any investigation would likely be run by the Israeli side.

QUESTION: Right. Okay. And then there are some Israeli officials who are pointing their finger at a Hamas operative who lives in Turkey as being the mastermind of this incident. Do you have any reason to suspect that – to think this is correct or this is incorrect, or do you have any reason yet to be 100 percent confident that, in fact, Hamas is behind this?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any new information beyond what we have stated over the last couple of days.


QUESTION: I’ve – I know what you’ve said over the last couple days, but do you consider, just holistically, Israel’s actions justified, as you’ve seen them play out thus far?

MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to characterize it further. We’ve continued to call for restraint, and obviously we have conversations through our own diplomatic channels.

QUESTION: Okay. And I’m not sure if you’ve put out anything on this or if you’ve been asked about this. If you have, I apologize, but —

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm. It’s okay. Go ahead.

QUESTION: — the hashtag, #BringBackOurBoys, is there any – have you tweeted that out? Do you plan on it, do you support it, do you sympathize with it?

MS. PSAKI: I have not personally, but —

QUESTION: Would you —

MS. PSAKI: — certainly the effort to take every step to bring the three missing teenagers home I would support, we would all support, and we’ve offered our assistance to do everything we can.


Document symbol: DPB#109
Document Type: Briefing, Press briefing, Transcript
Country: Israel, United States of America
Subject: Incidents, Occupation, Population, Protection, Reconciliation, Security issues, Terrorism
Publication Date: 20/06/2014
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