April 18, 2024
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VP Biden, in Israel, Condemns Palestinian Attack That Killed American Citizen

(JNS.org) Upon arriving in Israel on Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden swiftly condemned the Palestinian terror attack that killed a visiting American business school student and wounded 11 Israelis in the port city of Jaffa.

Biden, who is on a tour of Middle East countries, landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday evening. He was greeted by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Israeli Ambassador to U.S. Ron Dermer, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. Biden then headed to Jaffa to meet with former Israeli president Shimon Peres at the Peres Center for Peace.

Around the same time that Biden arrived at the Peres Center, the Palestinian terrorist carried out the Jaffa attack just down the road. Biden told reporters at the Peres Center, “We have absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to the security of Israel. I hope we can make some progress.”

Biden’s office later added that during his meeting with Peres, the vice president “condemned in the strongest possible terms the brutal attack” in Jaffa.

“He expressed his sorrow at the tragic loss of American life and offered his condolences to the family of the American citizen murdered in the attack, as well as his wishes for a full and quick recovery for the wounded,” Biden’s office said.

The American victim of the Jaffa attack was identified as Taylor Force, 29, a student at the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management who was visiting Israel as part of a school trip. Force was a 2009 graduate of West Point and had been a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army until 2014.

The attack in Jaffa was at least the third terror attack of the day in Israel. Earlier, one Israeli man was injured in a stabbing in Petah Tikva. In that incident, the victim was apparently able to use the knife and kill his attacker. Additionally, two Israeli Border Police officers were seriously injured in a drive-by shooting attack near the Old City of Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate; the shooter was eventually killed.

Tuesday’s slain tourist joins the list of American victims in the current wave of Palestinian terror. Israeli victims Eitam Henkin and Tuvia Yanai Weissman both held U.S. citizenship, while another Jewish victim, Ezra Schwartz, was an American student studying in Israel during his “gap year” between high school and college. Overall, more than 30 Israelis have been killed since the ongoing terror wave started last fall.

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