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Biden criticises 'failure to condemn' Palestinian attacks

Six separate attacks took place shortly before or after Biden's arrival, including a stabbing spree on Tel Aviv's waterfront by a Palestinian who killed an American tourist and wounded 12 people.

AFP

Updated:March 9, 2016, 8:43 PM IST
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Biden criticises 'failure to condemn' Palestinian attacks
Six separate attacks took place shortly before or after Biden's arrival, including a stabbing spree on Tel Aviv's waterfront by a Palestinian who killed an American tourist and wounded 12 people.
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Jerusalem: US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday implicitly criticised Palestinian leaders for not condemning attacks against Israelis, as an upsurge in violence marred his visit.

Six separate attacks took place shortly before or after Biden's arrival on Tuesday, including a stabbing spree on Tel Aviv's waterfront by a Palestinian who killed an American tourist and wounded 12 people.

The stabbings in the Jaffa port area took place as Biden met former Israeli president Shimon Peres about a kilometre away on Tuesday.

Biden said his wife and grandchildren had been having dinner on the beach not far from the site of the stabbings.

"The United States of America condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts," Biden said while meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop."

Biden offered his condolences to the family of the American victim, 29-year-old Taylor Force, whom he noted served in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has repeatedly called for peaceful resistance against the Israeli occupation, but has not specifically condemned a wave of knife, gun and car-ramming attacks that erupted in October.

Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, often praises such attacks.

Biden will travel to Ramallah later Wednesday to meet Abbas.

A large number of the attackers have been young people, including teenagers, who appear to have been acting on their own.

Many analysts say Palestinian frustration with Israeli occupation and settlement building in the West Bank, the complete lack of progress in peace efforts and their own fractured leadership have fed the unrest.

Israel blames incitement by Palestinian leaders and media as a main cause of the violence, which has killed 188 Palestinians and 28 Israelis since October.

Most of the Palestinians were killed while carrying out attacks, Israeli authorities say.

Others were shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes or demonstrations.

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