The Balad party released a statement on Tuesday responding to the discovery of the three murdered yeshiva students, blaming “the occupation” as the “source of violence.”
“The Israeli government, which refuses to end the occupation, is responsible for all acts of violence and bloodshed,” the party said.
“Balad expresses regret for the loss of life and emphasizes the need to act to prevent further killings and violence,” it continued. “We reiterate that the occupation is the source of violence, and therefore have to fight against it in any legitimate way, and to act to end it as soon as possible in order to pave the way for a just peace.”
This is the way to “guarantee” there are no more victims or suffering, it said.
The statement further called for an end to the “cynical exploitation” of the incident, and “to stop any Israeli revenge operation immediately.” Such an operation, it said, would be collective punishment against the Palestinians.
In addition, Balad called for international intervention to stop the government from retaliating, as it would only serve to “pour oil on the fire.”
Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest who supports IDF enlistment and the integration of Christians into Israeli society, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he “condemns the cruel murders in the strongest possible terms.”
Terrorist acts are not “because of the occupation, as Israeli Arab leaders say,” asserted Nadaf, adding that those leaders never condemned the murders, but “seek to justify them and allow for the continuation of these kinds of terrorist acts.”
Israeli-Arab politicians only “represent a minority of Arabs, and even many people who voted for them disagree with them,” he said.
He called on the state “to stop giving extremists a platform” for what he characterized as free speech that “crosses all limits.”
Nadaf said he shared in the suffering of the families and was “against all murders of anyone.”
He also visited the victims’ families and sent them a letter.
“Terrorist acts don’t allow for any chance for peace,” he stated.