American diplomat found dead in Jerusalem

 March 5, 2024

A U.S. diplomat to Israel was found dead in Jerusalem, the Biden administration confirmed. 

The State Department said no foul play is suspected but the incident is under investigation. The person - who was found in their apartment - is not the U.S. ambassador to Israel.

"We can confirm the death of an American employee of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. It is not the US Ambassador. Foul play is not suspected. We have no further details to share," a spokesperson said.

U.S. diplomat dies

The State Department said more information would be forthcoming once the person's relatives are notified.

The incident comes at a time of increased tensions between the U.S. and Israel, a long-standing ally, over the hostilities in Gaza.

Thousands of Palestinians have died in Israel's effort to wipe out Hamas, which slaughtered over 1,200 Israelis on October 7. Biden has pressured Israel to change course, warning it risks losing global credibility.

The war in Gaza has emerged as one of Biden's biggest challenges ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Biden was initially more supportive of Israel after October 7, but he has gradually bent to pressure from the left to pursue a cease-fire.

A sizable protest vote materialized in Michigan during the state's Democratic primary. The state has a significant Arab minority.

Super Tuesday will present another test of progressive anger toward Biden.

Conflict tests U.S. alliance

The U.S. president has held up the long-sought two-state solution as the only answer to the Israel-Palestine conflict, which has raged for decades with no end in sight.

Palestinians have long claimed East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. In a significant diplomatic shift, the Trump administration moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The move sparked backlash from Palestine, its Arab neighbors and Western liberals, who said Trump undermined peace in the region.

Ironically, years later, the Middle East is exploding under Trump's successor and rival.

Biden stirred fresh international anger and confusion when he recently plugged a premature cease-fire during an interview with late-night comedian Seth Meyers.

He punted on the current status of a cease-fire when asked about it Tuesday.

"It’s in the hands of Hamas right now,” Biden said. "We will know in a couple of days what’s gonna happen.”

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