U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro strongly condemned the Hamas terror attack in Jerusalem in an interview Wednesday at the Ynet studio — but he balanced the condemnation with a call for Israel to show restraint, as well as the rioting and murdering terrorists.

“I want to strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem in which one person was murdered and several others were wounded,” the ambassador said. “I offer condolences on my own behalf, on behalf of the government to the family of the man who was killed, and my wishes for recovery for the wounded.”

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A ranking Border Patrol officer, Chief Inspector Jadan Assad, of the Druze village of Beit J’an in northern Israel, fell in the line of duty while protecting other Israelis today. He leaves a pregnant wife and a three-year-old child. Three other Border Patrol police officers were wounded in the attack, along with 10 other people.

“It’s a very tense time in Jerusalem, especially around the holy sites,” Shapiro noted.

“We think this is a time when we’re calling on everyone to act with restraint, to lower the tensions, not to engage in provocations, either word or deed, and to make very clear that violence is never acceptable.

“That’s the leadership that’s needed right now to prevent a further deterioration of the situation in Jerusalem, and we’re working with all sides to try to achieve that,” Shapiro added.

He added that he did not see any major change or significant difference emerging from Tuesday’s national elections in the U.S. vis a vis the country’s policy towards Israel.

Although most of the interview was conducted in English, the last few remarks were expressed in Hebrew.

“Both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry still believe that the main interest of Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. is to reach a situation of two states for two peoples,” he said in Hebrew.

“Obviously there is disappointment due to the failed negotiations, but new efforts will be made; I don’t know when or how.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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