As a response to questions about the shootings of Palestinian protesters near the Gaza Strip border that has left three people dead on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Israel has a right to defend itself.
“We do believe the Israelis have a right to defend themselves,” he said at a press availability with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Reuters reported.
39 Palestinians have been killed only in the last month as a result of the violent protests against the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
According to The Washington Post, Pompeo also offered muted support for the two-state solution in the Middle East, though he said that would be up to the parties and not the United States.
“With respect to the two-state solution, the parties will ultimately make the decision. We are certainly open to a two-party solution as a likely outcome,” Pompeo said in Jordan after his visit to Israel.
Pompeo also suggested that the Palestinians should stop the violence and once again start being politically engaged with Israel.
President Donald Trump in the past has stated that he is going to be open to a two-state solution to the conflict but only if both Israel and Palestine were to agree to such a plan.
However, Palestine has cut diplomatic ties with Washington and does not want to cooperate with the U.S. after President Trump announced that he is going to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which the Palestinians consider to be the capital of their own state.
Pompeo is finishing up his tour of the Middle East. This is his first official tour after being confirmed as Secretary of State last week.
Meanwhile, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on Friday was asked to resign by President Klaus Iohannis because she tried to move the country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Iohannis pointed to a secret memorandum adopted by the government last week with the aim of moving the embassy.