WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding recent events in Israel and the Palestinian territories:

“I am saddened by recent events in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. Violence and revenge are incompatible with achieving progress toward a peaceful solution.

“I extend my sincerest condolences to the family of Mohammed Abu Khder, and again to the families of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. No parent should ever have to bury a child, and no society should tolerate the murder of its children. Mohammed’s death will not bring back Naftali, Gilad, or Eyal. These deaths have done nothing but cause heartache and grief, and have further divided both Israelis and Palestinians.

“At the same time, the recent rocket launches from Gaza into Israel dim any hope for a calm resolution. True to form, this is Hamas baiting Israel into a conflict.

“I call on the Palestinian Authority to cut ties with Hamas. Hamas has used the unity government as a fig leaf for its renewed commitment to terrorist kidnapping and rocket attacks. Hamas has no place in the Palestinian Authority.”