United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles to members of the media as she leaves, following the international conference regarding ongoing military intervention in Libya, in central London, Tuesday, March 29, 2011. – Photo by AP

WASHINGTON: Twenty-seven US senators pressed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday to make clear to Palestinian leaders that any incitement to violence against Israel or Jews is “not tolerable.” “We would like to know what specific steps you are taking to press for an end to this dangerous incitement,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Clinton urging action after the grisly stabbing slayings of a family of five Israelis, including three children.

“The Itamar massacre was a sobering reminder that words matter, and that Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israel can lead to violence and terror,” the group, which included Democrats and Republicans, said in their message.

“We urge you to redouble your efforts to impress upon the Palestinian leadership that continuing to condone incitement is not tolerable. We also urge you to consider focusing adequate training and educational programs in the West Bank and Gaza that promote peaceful coexistence with Israel,” they said.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has denounced the early March attack at the Itamar settlement in the West Bank near the northern city of Nablus as “abominable, inhuman and immoral.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed Palestinian incitement for creating an atmosphere that led to the killings -- widely believed to have been carried out by Palestinians -- and Abbas has flatly rejected the charge.

In the wake of the Itamar attack as well as a bomb attack on a crowded Jerusalem bus stop last week, US lawmakers have stepped up appeals for President Barack Obama's administration to do more against Palestinian “incitement.” The 27 US senators told Clinton they had “serious concern over continuing incitement directed against Jews and Israel within the Palestinian media, mosques and schools, and even by individuals or institutions affiliated with the Palestinian Authority.” – AFP