National Security

Netanyahu Slams State Dept on Excessive Force Allegations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the U.S. State Department's allegations that Israel is using excessive force to fight terrorism Thursday, saying that the allegations are unfair, false, and justify Palestinian terrorism.

"This allegation is totally false. It’s also utterly unfair, because it’s so obviously, patently false," he said.

When asked whether Israel was worried about losing the support of its allies because of the State Department's concerns, Netanyahu said that Israel is using the amount of legitimate force necessary to protect its citizens against the threat of terrorism.

"Israel is using exactly the kind and the amount of legitimate force that any one of those governments would use if they had people wielding knives, meat cleavers, axes, trying to kill people on their streets," he said.

Netanyahu said that if America, or any other country were facing the threat of terrorism, they would protect their citizens just as Israel is.

"What do you think would happen in New York if you saw people rushing into crowds trying to murder people? You think they would do anything different than what we are doing? They might, actually, but certainly not less," he said.

The Prime Minister added that the State Department's allegations of excessive force give terrorists yet another justification for killing innocent Israelis.

"The mere fact that this is brought up as a possible explanation gives the terrorists a justification that they don’t even use," he said. "They might now, but they haven’t up to now. And that tells you a lot."

Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that the "massive increase" in so-called Israeli settlements has also fed Palestinian "frustration." State Department spokesperson John Kirby bolstered Kerry's accusation, saying Wednesday that Israelis are guilty of terrorism.

In the last month, Israel has faced a wave of Palestinian violence, including a string of knife murders and the shooting of an Israeli couple in front of their four children.