TEL AVIV – Terror group Hamas on Tuesday hailed a shooting attack that saw an Israeli father of six killed in the West Bank as “heroic,” and warned Israel that the worst is yet to come.
“The attack in Nablus is the first practical response as a reminder to the enemy’s leaders and those behind them (the United States) that your fears are being realized,” the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades so-called armed wing of the Gaza-ruling group said. “The West Bank will remain a knife in your body.”
Hamas said the attack was a direct consequence of “crimes” against Jerusalem, following President Donald Trump’s December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“We welcome the heroic action, that came as a result of Israel’s crimes against our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the statement said. “The Israeli government bears the consequences of its racist and extremist policies.”
The Gaza-based terrorist group stopped short of directly claiming responsibility for the attack.
Rabbi Raziel Shevach, 35, was shot by Palestinian gunmen while driving past a junction in the West Bank. He served as a rabbi at a yeshiva and was a mohel. He also volunteered as a paramedic and was called to administer emergency treatment to both Israelis and Palestinians. He left behind a wife and six children, aged eight months until 11 years.
Shevach’s wife told the Ynet news site that he “called me, and said, ‘I’ve been shot, call an ambulance.’ I’m still shocked and horrified at just how easily they shoot us down.”
Shevach died of his wounds at a hospital in Kfar Saba.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed “deep sorrow and sends condolences to the family of Raziel Shevach, who was murdered tonight by a lowly terrorist,” in a statement released Tuesday night.
“The security forces will do everything to reach the despicable murderer and the State of Israel will bring him to justice,” said Netanyahu.
President Reuven Rivlin condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to the victim’s family.
“I was very sorry to hear of the death of the [man] wounded in the attack at the Havat Gilad Junction. The State of Israel will not allow terror to rear its head, and I am certain the security forces will bring those responsible to justice,” said Rivlin. “Our hearts, prayers and thoughts are with the grieving family.”
Jewish Home MK Betzalel Smotrich was on the same road when the attack took place.
“A few cars ahead of me, on the Gilad route, a terrible terror attack with a serious outcome,” said Smotrich in a statement. “We stopped to administer first aid and am now on my way home. This is an intolerable situation of a subhuman who came to sow destruction.”