After accusing Israel of violating the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as well as using "excessive force" against Arab terrorists, US State Department spokesman John Kirby issued a semi-retraction.
At a daily briefing on Wednesday, Kirby essentially blamed Arab terror on Israeli policies over the Mount, claiming "well, certainly, the status quo has not been observed, which has led to a lot of violence."
Top Israeli ministers were quick to lash out at the State Department, including Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who accused it of "accept[ing] lies…without investigation" as well as harboring a longstanding animosity toward Israel.
"The statements of the US State Department spokesman are so absurd and twisted that I expect President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to shake them off and clarify the US' position," Erdan added.
Several hours after the briefing, Kirby posted a statement on his Twitter feed, reading: "Clarification from today's briefing: I did not intend to suggest that status quo at Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary – ed.) has been broken."
"We welcome both Israel's & Jordan's commitment to continued maintenance of status quo at Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif."
Kirby did not however make reference to the allegations of Israel using "excessive force" to subdue terrorists, which Israeli Defense Minister slammed on Thursday as "nonsense."