"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
ISRAEL / PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES / REGION
QUESTION: Before we get back to that and other things, the breaking news just from the last 20 minutes or so about the Israelis finding the bodies of the three kidnapped teenagers, I’m wondering, one, are you aware of it? And if you are, what do you have to say about it? And two, have you been in contact with the Israelis, or the Palestinians for that matter?
MS. PSAKI: I have seen – we have seen the reports. I don’t have anything to confirm from here. I would point you to the Government of Israel. Certainly as we’ve said many times throughout the course of the last several weeks, the kidnapping, and of course any harm that has been done to these teenagers is a tragedy. We’ve been in close touch with the Israelis and the Palestinians over the course of the last several weeks. I don’t have any new calls to update you on as of this morning.
QUESTION: Okay. If there are any, can you expedite --
MS. PSAKI: Can we send them up? Yes, absolutely.
QUESTION: -- letting us know?
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
QUESTION: In – since this began, you and the Administration in general have been urging restraint, calling on both sides to show restraint. Does that remain your message even with this new development?
MS. PSAKI: It certainly does. We have, as you noted, been in touch with both sides and have been urging continued security cooperation, that the Israelis and the Palestinians continue to work with one another on that, and we certainly would continue to urge that despite – in spite of, obviously, the tragedy and the enormous pain on the ground as a result.
QUESTION: Wait, I just have one more.
MS. PSAKI: Let’s just go one at a time. Go ahead, Matt.
QUESTION: The Israelis have all along said that Hamas was behind this. You have said that signs indicate that Hamas was involved, but you have stopped short of saying that you’re 100 percent certain of it. Presuming that the Israelis do provide you or you come up with your own 100 percent confirmation that it was involved, would that change – and I realize this is a hypothetical, but would Hamas’s involvement in something like this be cause for the Administration to rethink its support for the Palestinian – the new Palestinian Government?
MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, let me first say there’s nothing new as it relates to our view in this specific case, and as we’ve noted in the past – but it’s worth noting again – there are some similar circumstances that we have seen. I’m not going to make a prediction, of course. We do look at all kinds of information as it relates to our relationship with the Palestinians, our relationship with any entity that we work with. So I’m not going to make a prediction. I don’t know what the outcome will be of the final findings.
QUESTION: There were also, I think, fourteen – 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?
MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, renouncing violence is one of the requirements, according to the Quartet, and one of the United States requirements. And as we said in the beginning when the first announcement of the technocratic government was made, we’re going to continue to review and take a look at the circumstances on the ground on a daily basis if needed.
QUESTION: All right. But I mean, quite apart from whether they played any role in the killing of the three teenagers, there were these rocket attacks today. Is that – does that comport with a renunciation of violence?
MS. PSAKI: Well, obviously, we would condemn any type of violence along those lines against the Israelis. And we expect, and President Abbas has on many occasions also renounced this type of action. And there’s a certain responsibility in conveying that to any entities that the Palestinians are tied with.
QUESTION: Yeah, but if I shoot you at the same time as saying I renounce violence, that doesn’t really make much sense. So --
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think the point --
QUESTION: -- what you’re saying, though, is that apart from the teenagers – because we don’t – you don’t know – you’re not sure of the circumstances – just the rocket attacks themselves are not cause to have you rethink your relationship with the government.
MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, as we have stated from the beginning, and the point I was trying to make, is that we would be constantly reviewing as it relates to action on the ground, whether they are abiding by the components that they have – the pledges that they made at the beginning. So I don’t have anything new to predict for you or outline, but we look at all of the circumstances that happen on the ground as we evaluate our relationship.
QUESTION: I’ll stop after this.
MS. PSAKI: Okay.
QUESTION: You think right now that they are abiding by the requirements?
MS. PSAKI: Well, 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. 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.
QUESTION: So --
MS. PSAKI: Oh, go ahead.
QUESTION: I’m sorry, I would’ve stopped after that, but I – you are sure, you’re convinced that the Palestinian Government is making – what you just said, “making every effort” to abide by its commitments? That’s the U.S. position?
MS. PSAKI: Matt, what I’m --
QUESTION: I --
MS. PSAKI: Matt, 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 could 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.
QUESTION: Follow-up on that, Jen, if I may. The technocratic government that you spoke of, as far as you’re concerned, they have not – they are doing everything possible to refrain from the use of violence, rhetoric or otherwise. Right?
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: So you are convinced that they are doing all they can to sort of keep the lid on as far as violence is concerned?
MS. PSAKI: President Abbas and --
QUESTION: And his technocratic government that is a national unity government.
MS. PSAKI: I think I’ve stated it a few times, Said, but go ahead.
QUESTION: Okay. Let me just go back to the breaking news. As far as – you have not heard anything yourself about the – to confirm the murder of the three teenagers?
MS. PSAKI: We’ve seen the reports. I don’t have anything to confirm from here.
QUESTION: Okay. Now as far as you know, the Israelis have not informed you that these bodies were found and therefore we’re going to do one, two, three, four; have they?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything else to update you on.
QUESTION: Do you have any comment on the total closure of Hebron and its environ?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything new to update you on.
QUESTION: Prime Minister Netanyahu --
MS. PSAKI: Or go ahead, Roz.
QUESTION: Yeah. Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Sunday that the government had been able to identify two members of Hamas as being responsible. I know that you can’t confirm the discovery of the bodies. Do you know whether they shared this information with their U.S. counterparts either in Tel Aviv or here in Washington over the weekend about these two suspects?