At a press conference on Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vice President Joe Biden criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its failure to denounce terror attacks against Israelis, stating that the U.S. “condemns the failure to condemn these acts." He also urged an end to incitement, stating “the kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence… has to stop." Biden remarked that his wife and his grandchildren were having dinner on the beach “a hundred meters or a thousand meters" away from the Jaffa stabbing attack yesterday, and that his family’s proximity to the attack “brings home that it can happen, it can happen anywhere, at any time." Biden also stressed that the U.S. “stands firmly behind Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized Israel’s and America’s shared values, and stated that when it comes to the fight against terrorism, “we have no better partner than the United States of America.” Biden said he believed it was important to bring along his grandchildren to Israel and noted that “the relationship between the United States and Israel is more than the relationship of two governments. It's a bond between people, forged a link by successive generations and grounded in an abiding commitment to Israel's security.”
The PA’s official TV news station called the terrorist responsible for the stabbing attack in Jaffa a “martyr.” The station also referred to the victims of the attack as “settlers” although the attack took place outside of the West Bank and its victims included American and Russian tourists as well as Arab-Israelis. One of the tourists, Taylor Force, an American graduate student who had served combat tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, was killed in the attack. Fatah, Abbas’ political party, posted a drawing on its Facebook page of a hand clutching a knife over a map of Israel and the Palestinian territories. The text on the arm reads "the heroic martyr," and the terrorist’s name is written on the map. Hamas also praised the terrorist attacks, calling them “heroic.”
A day after Iran announced that it tested a number of ballistic missiles across the country, in defiance of a United Nations Security Council ban, the Islamic Republic launched two more missiles marked with the threat “Israel must be wiped off the Earth” in Hebrew, CNN reported on Wednesday. The missiles, which are capable of reaching Israel from Iran, were launched on the second day of countrywide defense exercises.According to CNN, the phrase they were marked with is attributed to Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Lieutenant Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, boasted on Wednesday that Iran has “tens of times” more missiles than the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, which he claimed has an arsenal of over 100,000 missiles, according to the IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency.
“We will transfer all our experiences and achievements to our brothers in the Muslim world and the Resistance front against the US, Israel, and their regional allies,” Salami added. The two ballistic missiles, called Qadr-H and Qadr-F, were reported to have traveled some 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) from the Alborz Mountains near Tehran to targets on Iran’s southeastern coast.
IRGC commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that Iran’s enemies are “shivering from the roar of Iranian missiles,” Iran’s state news agency reported on Tuesday. Jafari left little doubt as to which enemy he was referring, adding that “[since the] Zionist regime is within reach of Iranian missiles, it is quite natural that they should be more concern.”
Iran has consistently refused to negotiate limits to its development of ballistic missiles, even though its program has been subject to UN Security Council resolutions for years. The Pentagon reported in June that Iran was developing ballistic missiles that “could be applicable to nuclear weapons.”
UN Security Council resolution 2231, which undergirds the nuclear deal Iran reached with global powers last year, calls on the country not to develop ballistic missiles. Despite this, Iran repeatedly announced that it would ignore the ballistic missile elements of the resolution, and conducted missile tests last October and November. Despite Iran’s defiant stance regarding its ballistic missile program, Tehran committed in the nuclear deal (.pdf) to “make every effort to support the successful implementation of this [deal] including in their public statements.” (via TheTower.org)