Netanyahu Deputy: 'We Don't Know' Why Palestinian Boy Was Killed

Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 07:34 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Ofir Akunis, deputy minister for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and member of the Knesset, says it is too early to determine whether the murder of a Palestinian boy was in retaliation for the recent deaths of three Israeli teens.

"We don't know what happened yet. It will not be a good idea to jump into conclusions,'' Akunis told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV Wednesday.

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"Of course, the state of Israel condemned every terror and every violence in our region. Israel is very sad these days and grieving the three boys…. They were murdered by Hamas terrorists. That we know for sure.''

Akusnis said while Israeli police have launched an intensive probe of the crimes, "We cannot say you know, that [the Palestinian boy] was murdered by settlers or Israelis. We cannot say. We don't know the facts.''

His comments came after media reports that the Palestinian boy's death was an act of revenge following the murders of three kidnapped Israeli boys, one whom had a dual U.S. citizenship.

Akunis said it is important that there is not a rush to judgment.

"We are a state of law. This is the state of Israel with full civil rights to everybody,'' he said.

"To Arabs, Israelis, and we don't know what happened this morning in Jerusalem and my suggestion is not jumping to conclusions and into announcements.''

He added that Israel is ready to do "whatever is necessary'' to protect its citizens.

"We should do it, we must do it…. It's about Israel's existence,'' he said.

Akunis also urged the United States to reevaluate any support of the Hamas, which has been deemed a terrorist organization.

"Everybody needs to understand who Hamas is. The charter of Hamas is to ruin the state of Israel…. They want to do it by jihad. This is in their charter. They are a terror organization,'' he said.

"It was a mistake to announce immediately that it will be fine to continue to work with this government. It can be changed … [and I] hope that they will do it because it was a mistake.

"We will not negotiate with them. It's like America will not negotiate with the government that is al-Qaida supporters inside the government.''

Akunis also called ISIS — the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which is currently taking over city after city in Iraq — a "direct threat" to the Middle East and the world.

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