TEL AVIV – Palestinian terror groups including Hamas praised the fatal stabbing of an American-Israeli father of four on Sunday, saying it was a “natural response to Zionist crimes against the Palestinians.”
The Palestinian Authority did not comment on the attack. Its official news agency, Wafa, briefly reported it under the headline: “The occupation injures a teenager south of Bethlehem.”
According to that report, the terrorist, 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin, was injured “under the pretext that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack” in Gush Etzion.
In an incredible feat that was captured by several security cameras, moments after being stabbed in the back, the victim, Ari Fuld, pursued his attacker for several hundred feet, leaping over a fence and shooting him all the while before collapsing. He was evacuated to Shaare Tzedek medical center but doctors said he showed no signs of life on arrival.
Hamas called the attack a “heroic stabbing operation.”
Senior Hamas official Husam Badran said in a statement: “We welcome this heroic operation and affirm that harming al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line.” The attack, he added, was to avenge Israel’s actions against the mosque, referencing the unfounded claim that Israel seeks to harm the Muslim holy site.
“Our Palestinian people will not remain silent towards the ongoing violations against al-Aqsa.”
The Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad issued a statement hailing the “heroic operation against Zionist terrorism,” adding that Fuld’s murder was a “natural response to Zionist crimes against our people, our lands and our holy sites.”
It urged more Palestinians to conduct “military operations” against settlers.
The Popular Resistance Committee, also in Gaza, said in a statement that the attack was a “form of popular resistance against the Zionist-American conspiracy” directed toward the Palestinians.
The armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) also lauded the attack as a “natural response to Israeli crimes” and called for more attacks. It said the “resistance will eventually force the occupation to go away.”
Overnight Sunday, IDF forces entered the West Bank village of Yatta where Jabarin resided and conducted house-to-house searches. Troops also measured Jabarin’s house ahead of its demolition, Israeli media reported.