A Palestinian Islamist fatally stabbed a 45-year-old man yesterday at a shopping center, near the West Bank settlement of Gush Etzion. The victim of the terror-attack was identified as Ari Fuld, a bi-national American-Israeli father of four, from the Jewish settlement of Efrat. After being attacked by the assailant, who was identified as 16-year-old Khalil Jabarin from the Palestinian village of Yatta, Fuld managed to chase and shoot in the direction of his attacker, before a passerby eventually shot and neutralized the terrorist. According to Israeli Medical Services (MADA) JLM Deputy Manager Avi Hovav, “At around 11:15 we received a report about a terror attack at the entrance of a mall in Gush Etzion. Our paramedic who was in the mall at the time heard the incident and offered initial treatment to a critically wounded (man) who was later evacuated to Sha’arey Tzedek hospital. At the same time, we treated the assailant (who was) in stable condition. He was also evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in recent minutes.” Shortly after the victim was transferred to the Sha’are Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Ari Fuld succumbed to his wounds.
That same day, hundreds of people attended Fuld’s funeral, who was a well-known Jewish activist, with strong nationalist ideology and staunch support for the Israeli military. He had an active English-language internet blog on current affairs and weekly biblical lessons. During his funeral, the victim’s father, Rabbi Yona Fuld, declared his son as a Hero, saying that “If one word would typify him, it would be that word of ‘Gibor’ (‘Hero’ in Hebrew). He was a hero to all. He took such pride in your children, jewels of his life.” Among those attending the funeral was U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who wrote on his twitter account, “America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. Ari Fuld was a passionate defender of Israel and an American patriot. He represented the best of both countries and will be deeply missed. May his family be comforted, and his memory be blessed.”
The deadly terror attack came a day after violent demonstrations were reported along Israel’s security fence with the Gaza Strip. About five-hundred Palestinians, who rallied on Saturday at several locations along the enclave’s security fence with Israel, burned tires and hurled stones and explosive devices towards IDF forces. According to the IDF’s spokesperson’s unit, Palestinian Islamists hurled three grenades toward the Karni Crossing, and a pipe bomb toward the Rafah area, in ongoing attempts to target IDF troops. Nevertheless, no injuries were reported among the Israeli forces. The IDF underscored in its statement that it used crowed dispersal means, in order to prevent border breaches.