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American diplomat found dead in apartment in Jerusalem

US says it does not suspect foul play

Shweta Sharma
Tuesday 05 March 2024 06:23 GMT
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<p>An Israeli flag is displayed in front of a building near a road sign for the US embassy in Jerusalem </p>

An Israeli flag is displayed in front of a building near a road sign for the US embassy in Jerusalem

An employee of the US embassy in Jerusalem was found dead in their apartment, the embassy said on Monday.

The US State Department said the death of a direct hire employee in the embassy is under investigation and there were no indications of foul play in the death.

The deceased person was not the US Ambassador to Israel.

"We can confirm the death of an American employee of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. It is not the US Ambassador,” the spokesperson said.

“Foul play is not suspected. We have no further details to share,” it added.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said more information will be made available after the next of kin of the employee is informed of the death.

The US moved its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv following an initiative driven by then-US president Donald Trump. It was after he broke away from decades of US policy of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The move was celebrated by Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu but criticised by Palestinians and allies in the Arab world.

Jerusalem is sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam and has remained one of the main sites of flashpoints in the history of Israel.

It comes as the US leadership, including Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris, are becoming increasingly vocal of their dissatisfaction over Israel’s ground assault of Gaza and the mounting death of Palestinians as the war nears the five-month mark.

Israel launched its offensive in Gaza after an attack by Hamas inside Israel on 7 October killing around 1,200 people. The military response to the Hamas attack, via air, ground and a blockade, has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run strip.

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