WASHINGTON — The Trump administration made little mention of violent clashes along Gaza's border with Israel on Friday.
In a message on Twitter, the State Department's spokesman, Heather Nauert, vaguely warned "those involved" to lower tensions after 16 protesters were killed, according to Palestinian authorities.
"We are deeply saddened by loss of life in #Gaza today," Nauert wrote. "We urge those involved to take steps to lower tensions. Int'l community is focused on taking steps that will improve the lives of the Palestinians and is working on a plan for peace. Violence furthers neither of those goals."
One day before the march, planned by Hamas, the president's special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, previewed his expectations: "Hamas is encouraging a hostile march on the Israel-Gaza border," he tweeted. "Hamas should focus on desperately needed improvements to the lives of Palestinians in Gaza instead of inciting violence against Israel that only increases hardship & undermines chances for peace."
The White House has not commented on the protest since. Greenblatt and the rest of the White House "peace team" working on a comprehensive proposal to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, led by US President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, say that solving the situation in Gaza and wrestling it from the control of Hamas is the key to a lasting peace agreement.