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November 25, 2015 8:25 am

State Department Grilled on Attitude to American Teen Killed in West Bank Terror Attack

avatar by David Daoud

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State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner. Photo: US Department of State.

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner. Photo: US Department of State.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner was challenged by an AP reporter about the administration’s relative silence surrounding the murder of an American-Jewish teen in the West Bank at the hands of a Palestinian terrorist.

Matt Lee, the AP correspondent who covers the State Department, asked Toner why President Obama and Vice President Biden failed to mention Ezra Schwartz when addressing the issue of US citizens killed abroad in terrorist attacks, though they did name the American victims of the Paris and Mali attacks.

“Does [the administration regard] all of these acts as terrorism?” Lee asked. “Does the administration believe there are different kinds of terrorism?”

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Toner responded that Secretary of State John Kerry had indeed made a statement on Friday about Schwartz’s death, and even reached out to his family. But Lee pressed him on whether the administration viewed the terrorist attack in which Schwartz was killed in the same light as the Paris and Mali attacks.

“I don’t want to necessarily parse out the definition of ‘terrorism,'” said Toner. “But we — yes, I think we would view them as terrorist attacks.”

Lee reiterated his question: “There are none that are less bad than others?”

Toner responded that though the circumstances differed, they are viewed the same by the administration.

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