US “deeply concerned” by attack on consular staff on West Bank

A small group of settlers threw rocks at US consular officials Friday when they came to the village of Turmus Ayya to inspect Palestinian claims that settlers from nearby Adi Ad had uprooted scores of olive trees the day before, an Israeli police official reported. The group was scattered by soldiers and the consular vehicles drove off. Police have opened an inquiry after an official US complaint was filed. They deny that the US security personnel escorting the officials used their weapons during the attack.

U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke in Washington said his government was “deeply concerned” by the attack.  “The Israeli authorities have also communicated to us that they acknowledge the seriousness of the incident and are looking to apprehend and take appropriate action against those responsible.”

At the same time, the police note that the US inspection in a volatile area should have been coordinated with Israeli security authorities to avoid such incidents. This time, no one was hurt.

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