Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin NetanyahuEmil Salman/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has responded to a letter in which US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) called for an investigation into claims that Israel carries out extrajudicial killings against Palestinians.

"The IDF and the Israel Police do not engage in executions. Israel’s soldiers and police officers defend themselves and innocent civilians with the highest moral standards against bloodthirsty terrorists who come to murder them," he wrote.

"Where is the concern for the human rights of the many Israelis who’ve been murdered and maimed by these savage terrorists? This letter should have been addressed instead to those who incite youngsters to commit cruel acts of terrorism."

Ten other Democratic members of Congress also signed Leahy's letter. In part, it claimed that "there have been a disturbing number of reports of possible gross violations of human rights by security forces in Israel and Egypt"

Focusing on Israel, Senator Leahy wrote: "Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have reported what may be extrajudicial killings by the Israeli military and police of Fadi Alloun, Saad Al-Atrash, Hadeel Hashlamoun, and Mutaz Ewisa. There are also reports of the use of torture in the cases of Wasim Marouf and Ahmed Manasra."

All of the supposed victims named in the letter either carried out, or attempted to carry out, stabbing attacks against Israelis.

Manasra is a particularly notable case of false propaganda. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas first claimed that Israel "executed him in cold blood" after Manasra critically wounded two Israelis. He was quickly proven to be a liar, though, when Hadassah Medical Center showed that he was not only alive but receiving medical treatment in the same hospital that treats terror victims.

Mansara's situation has apparently now been upgraded from "executed" to "tortured."