TEL AVIV – In exclusive interviews, Islamic extremists in Gaza welcomed Tuesday’s stabbing rampage in Jaffa that left one American tourist dead and at least eleven people wounded, some seriously.
The American victim was identified as Vanderbilt graduate student Taylor Force, 29, a U.S. military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Abu Seif Aldin, a senior operative in Hamas’ so-called military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, told Breitbart Jerusalem that “the attack was a natural reaction to the crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians.”
Force should have known he entered a “war zone,” Adlin added, because “as long as the occupation continues nobody is safe.”
“The Palestinians had nothing against him personally, but everybody who supports the occupation, as a tourist, businessman or any other function bears responsibility. And you saw what happened to that young American.”
“It was a divine attack, a divine vengeance,” said Abu Ayna Al-Ansari, a well-known, Gaza-based Salafist jihadist leader. “The casualty in the battle against the Zionist occupiers was an American soldier who fought in the war against Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
“It is Allah’s promise that every criminal will meet his death, though not always immediately after committing the crimes,” Ansari added, speaking to Breitbart Jerusalem from the Gaza Strip. “This attack sends a message to the infidels, to the Zionists and their American allies: Our brothers the mujahedeen won’t stop until all Muslim lands are liberated and ruled by Muslims.”
Abu Jamal, a spokesperson for the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told Breitbart Jerusalem that the presence of American nationals in what he called the “settlements” – referring to the entire state of Israel – serves as proof that the U.S. supports Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians.
“They have to be aware of the consequences of their support for the occupation,” he said. “Nobody expects a hero on his way to a mission to find out the nationality of the people on his way. Every person who sets foot in the land of the occupier must take responsibility for it.”
Vice President Joe Biden, who was giving a speech in Jaffa at the time of the stabbing attack, had called on the Palestinian leadership and the international community to condemn terrorist attacks against Israelis, including the Jaffa violence.
“Let me say in no uncertain terms: The US condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts,” Biden stated at a Jerusalem press conference on Wednesday.
Apparently responding to Biden’s call, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his condolences over Force’s death but failed to condemn the terrorist attack itself.
“Abbas expressed his condolences over the American citizen who was killed yesterday, stressing at the same time that the occupation authorities have killed 200 Palestinians in the past five months,” read a statement on the Palestinian National Authority’s Wafa news.
Force was killed and at least ten others wounded, four seriously, in terrorist stabbing attacks perpetrated on Tuesday by the same individual at two locations in Jaffa, the port city located just south of Tel Aviv.
The attacks took place as Biden was speaking at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa, Breitbart Jerusalem reported.
The Peres Center is located about half a mile from the section of Jaffa’s port that was the scene of the attack. Jaffa is part of the Tel Aviv municipality.
Sources in the Israeli security establishment told Breitbart Jerusalem that immediately after the attack, massive police reinforcements were called in to help secure the ongoing event at the Peres Peace Center, which was already tightly secured.
The sources, who spoke minutes after the attack took place, told Breitbart Jerusalem at the time there was no immediate information to indicate that the stabber timed his attack to coincide with Biden’s visit to Jaffa.
On Wednesday, Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, foreign press spokesman for the Israel Police, told Breitbart Jerusalem he does not believe there is any connection between the increase in attacks in the last 24 hours and Biden’s visit here at the same time.
The Jaffa stabbing was just one of three attacks that took place within about two hours of each other on Tuesday. One Israeli was moderately wounded in a terrorist stabbing attack in Petah Tikva, located about nine miles south of Tel Aviv. Before that, two Israelis were wounded in a shooting attack near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances to the Old City.
On Wednesday, two terrorists from Kafr Aqab in eastern Jerusalem carried out a combined vehicular and stabbing attack near the Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City and the scene of scores of attacks and attempted attacks in recent months. A Palestinian civilian was seriously wounded that attack.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.