While AP reporter Matt Lee pressed State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on the United States’ relationship with Palestine, Psaki maintained that President Abbas and his technocratic government “are making every effort” to abide by U.S. requirements, including the rejection of violence.
Lee questioned Psaki about the recently confirmed deaths of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, but Psaki declined to predict how the matter might weigh into the United States’ relationship with Palestine. Lee continued, “There also, I think — for — more than a dozen rockets that were fired into Southern Israel from Gaza today. Is that something that would make you rethink your position as it relates to the Palestinian government?”
Psaki replied that the State Department would “continue to review and take a look at the circumstances at the ground on a daily basis”, but that “I don’t have anything new to predict for you or outline”, indicating that the United States maintains its support for the Palestinian government.
“Do you think right now that they are abiding by the requirements?” Lee asked.
“Well,” Psaki answered, “I think the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas and the technocratic government that doesn’t involve members of Hamas — yes, they are making every effort to.”
Psaki added that “Obviously when there are incidents of violence, when there are rocket attacks, those are certainly cause for concern, and we take every incident into consideration.”
When asked again if she is “sure” and “convinced” that the Palestinian government is making every effort to abide by its commitments, Psaki explained, “What I’m conveying is President Abbas has, as you know, renounced violence. He has condemned attacks. He has been a cooperative partner in an effort, even with — as it relates to the three teenagers over the last several weeks. Does that change the fact that we are concerned and certainly condemn these rocket attacks and other incidents that occur? Certainly it doesn’t change that. But again, this is not a black-and-white issue.”