JERUSALEM – President Obama's official statement on today's bombing at a crowded bus stop in Jerusalem included a clause expressing his "deepest condolences for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza yesterday."
The statement seems to draw a moral equivalence between today's attack in Jerusalem, in which Jewish civilians were targeted, and the death of four Palestinian civilians who were killed in an Israel Defense Force strike targeting a site used yesterday by militants in Gaza to launch mortars at nearby Jewish population centers.
Gazan terrorist groups routinely use civilian zones, including apartment buildings and hospitals, to launch rockets and mortars aimed at Jewish neighborhoods near the Gaza Strip.
The IDF said in a statement the army here believed it was targeting a terrorist rocket team and did not know civilians were in the area.
A 59-year-old woman was killed in today's blast in Jerusalem, with at least 38 people wounded in attack.
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Continued the statement: "There is never any possible justification for terrorism. The United States calls on the groups responsible to end these attacks at once and we underscore that Israel, like all nations, has a right to self-defense.
"We also express our deepest condolences for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza yesterday. We stress the importance of calm and urge all parties to do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties."