White House Removes Jared Kushner's comments that Gaza protesters are 'part of the problem'
Story Code : 725120
Kushner was speaking at the official opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem when he hit out at thousands of protesters, who were injured on what was the single deadliest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2014.
'As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution,' Donald Trump's son-in-law told the crowd as his wife Ivanka looked on.
But Kushner's remarks went briefly under the radar as the White House omitted the line from his remarks in the official transcript.
A side-by-side comparison of Kushner's speech and the White House transcript, first tweeted by Ayman Mohyeldin, shows that Kushner's remarks about the protesters had completely disappeared.
The White House transcript included Kushner's preceding comments, in which he said Monday's 'celebration' of the embassy 'do not reflect the departure from our strong commitment to a lasting peace'.
But the transcript completely scrapped Kushner's comment about the protesters and instead jumped to his claim that the United States 'is prepared to support a peace agreement in every way we can'.
'We believe that it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give so that all people can live in peace, safe from danger, free from fear, and able to pursue their dreams,' he added.
Israeli snipers have killed scores of Palestinians and wounded thousands more as 35,000 protesters rallied against the US Embassy opening overseen by Kushner and Ivanka on Monday.
A 14-year-old was among 52 shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 war between the Jewish state and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.
At least 2,400 more have been injured with hundreds of them by live bullets, according to Gaza officials.
The Palestinian government has accused Israel of committing a 'terrible massacre' and Amnesty International called the bloodshed an 'abhorrent violation' of human rights.
But Kushner's controversial remarks were in line with the White House, as Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah blamed Hamas for the violence in Israel on Monday.
Shah said he did not believe that the violence would undermine the United States' positioning on a peace agreement and went so far as to call the deaths a 'propaganda attempt' by Hamas and Palestine.
'The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas. Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response,' he asserted.
Shah also demanded that Hamas stop its 'cynical exploitation of the situation' that has led to the deaths.
The president's spokesman said that embassy opening is 'about following through on what the President promised and believes'.
'I think we've. for decades you know, walked on eggshells, pretending that Jerusalem isn't the capital of Israel when it obviously is. And this is just a recognition of reality,' he said.
Shah added that the 'peace plan will be brought forward at the appropriate time, and it can be evaluated on its merits.
'We don't think it will impact the peace plan,' he said of the deaths in Gaza.
Trump tossed aside decades of precedent when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December - a decision that sparked global outcry, Palestinian anger, and exuberant praise from Israelis.
On Monday Russia said it feared that the embassy opening would increase tension in the Middle East, while Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan warned that the US had forfeited its role as a mediator in the region and was now 'part of the problem rather than the solution'.
As deadly clashes continued, Trump said in a video address aired at the opening that the embassy has been a 'long time coming' and that the US had 'failed to acknowledge the obvious' for many years.
Trump also said his 'greatest hope' is for peace and that he 'remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement'.
he UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the international community must bring those responsible to justice.
'Shocking killing of dozens, injury of hundreds by Israeli live fire in #Gaza must stop now,' Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein wrote in a message carried on the UN Human Rights Twitter account.
'The right to life must be respected. Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account. The int'l community needs to ensure justice for victims.'
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump for making 'history' on Monday.