State Dept: Israeli Settlements, Lack of Hope Drive Palestinian Violence

The US State Department’s annual terror report offers a surprising amount of criticism of Israel, uncharacteristic for the Trump Administration, which has made a point of being outspokenly favorable toward the Israeli government from day one.

The report detailed several lone-offender attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, as it does every year. But the report went a lot further, saying that Israeli government policy toward the Palestinians was in no small part driving the violence.

They identified the “continued drivers of violence” as settlement expansion within the occupied West Bank, overly aggressive Israeli military tactics, and a growing “lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood.” All of these are long-standing criticisms toward Israel, but rarely articulated by the US government, let alone Trump’s Administration.

On top of that, the State Department reported credited the Palestinian Authority for its efforts to prohibit “incitement” and for making serious efforts to prevent terrorism. Such a recognition is also uncharacteristic for the US, and is likely to anger Congressional Republicans, who’ve been pushing for a US crackdown on the Palestinians as a way to show support for Israel.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.