NewsUS Embassy worker in Israel dies; Tensions rise as officials trade accusations

US Embassy worker in Israel dies; Tensions rise as officials trade accusations

American diplomat died in Israel.
American diplomat died in Israel.
Images source: © Getty Images | Roy Rochlin
3:49 PM EST, March 4, 2024

The incident, which is not suspected to involve foul play, was confirmed by an embassy spokesperson on Monday. "We can confirm the death of an American embassy employee in Jerusalem. It is not the US ambassador. We do not suspect it resulted from a crime. We have no further details to share," said the spokesperson.

According to Reuters, the Israeli authorities have not yet made any comments regarding the situation.

Israeli finance minister accuses the US of trying to divide Israelis

Bezalel Smotrich, the Israeli Finance Minister and leader of the far-right Mafdal-Religious Zionism party, accused the US on Monday of attempting to divide Israelis. Concurrently, Itamar Ben Gvir, who heads the internal security ministry, advocated for halting hostage negotiations.

US Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to meet Benny Gantz, the former Israeli Chief of General Staff and a minister in Israel’s war cabinet, at the White House on Monday. Gantz is viewed as representing the opposition within the cabinet.

Following the announcement of this meeting, Smotrich claimed, "The US government is seeking ways to divide Israelis, intending to further their objectives through Gantz... In doing so, Gantz assists in realizing their plans for the establishment of a Palestinian state."

The Times of Israel reported that Gantz's trip to Washington has significantly annoyed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gantz is also expected to meet with Jake Sullivan, the White House National Security Advisor, as well as both Republican and Democratic members of Congress.

Danny Danon, a Likud party deputy, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, and a member of the Prime Minister's party, criticized Smotrich’s remarks. During a television interview, Danon stated that Smotrich seems to forget that the United States aligns with righteousness, while the Palestinian group Hamas embodies malevolence.

Source: Reuters/PAP

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