update desk

Palestinian paper’s DC bureau chief accuses Israel of murdering Dee family killers

In response to a question about the Israel Defense Forces killing four—without specifying three were Hamas terrorists—a State Department spokesman said, “I’ve not seen this specific report.”

Palestinian journalist Said Arikat at a U.S. State Department press briefing on May 4, 2023. Source: YouTube screenshot.
Palestinian journalist Said Arikat at a U.S. State Department press briefing on May 4, 2023. Source: YouTube screenshot.

“Let me begin by what happened today. The Israeli army killed four Palestinians. One of them is a young woman, 26 years old, a mother of three, in her hometown at a checkpoint,” said Said Arikat, Washington bureau chief at Al Quds.

“In the other incident, they went incognito, dressed like Palestinians, and they just hit a home with an anti-tank weapon to kill three,” added Arikat, who regularly smears Israel in what are ostensibly questions at U.S. State Department press briefings. “So I wonder if you have any comment on that or if you saw these statements.”

It was not clear if Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesman at the U.S. State Department, knew that Arikat was referring to three men the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) eliminated for murdering Lucy Dee, 48, and daughters Maia, 20, and Rina, 15.

Israeli forces fired a rocket at the building where Hassan Katnani and Muad Masri were holed up to flush them out and then the Israeli Defense Forces shot and killed the two Hamas members. The raid also killed Ibrahim Hura, a Hamas collaborator.

“I’ve not seen this specific report, Said,” said Patel, the State Department spokesman.

He added that Washington remains “deeply concerned about the sustained level of violence in Israel and the West Bank and the region broadly. And we unequivocally condemn any act by any party that incites violence, that exacerbates tensions.”

“We have said repeatedly that Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measure of prosperity, security and the ability to live in safety. And so that continues to be what we will continue to pursue in the region,” he said.

In response to another question from Arikat, Patel noted that the Biden administration has provided more than $940 million for Palestinians, including more than $730 million in humanitarian aid for refugees.

“We are committed to doing this and we’re committed to doing this in a way that supports and benefits the Palestinian people and does not benefit Hamas,” he said.

The State Department did not respond to a query from JNS.

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