US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro regrets the timing of his statement that the government has two legal standards, one for Palestinians and one for Israelis, he told Army Radio on Monday. Shapiro made the comment at the Institute for National Security Studies conference last week, which was held on the same day that terror victim Dafna Meir was laid to rest.
"I understand the timing was not ideal," said the ambassador. "I began with condemnations of the terror attacks in Otniel and Tekoa. There were only one or two controversial sentences, and if it hurt the Meir family or those mourning her, of course I regret that."
Regarding his claims about legal standards for Israelis and Palestinians, Shapiro said that he had praised Israeli authorities for making arrests and convictions in the case of the Duma case, in which three members of a Palestinian family were killed when their house was set on fire. "We encourage Israel to continue all investigations of different violent incidents, because it's very important to show commitment to the rule of law."
Of the American position on the peace process, Shapiro acknowledged that "we are in a period when there may not be negotiations in the near future, so we are trying to find steps on both sides to advance peace and security for Israel and Palestinians alike, and to preserve the possibility of two states."