State Department condemns stabbing death in West Bank of Tuvia Weisman, US citizen


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. State Department condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the stabbing death of a U.S. citizen at a West Bank supermarket.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack that took place yesterday in the West Bank that resulted in the death of U.S. citizen Tuvya Weisman,” said the statement from spokesman Mark Toner, released Friday, a day after the attack at the Rami Levi supermarket in Shaar Binyamin, north of Jerusalem.

“There is no justification for terrorism.,” the statement said. “This horrific incident again underscores the need for all sides to reject violence, and urgently take steps to restore calm, reduce tensions, and bring an immediate end to the violence.”

Weisman, 21, was buried Friday on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. A soldier in the Nachal infantry brigade who was off-duty at the time of his stabbing, he is survived by his wife and 4-month-old daughter. A 35-year-old man was wounded in the attack.

It was not clear where Weisman was from in the United States, or whether he had acquired citizenship through one of his parents. Toner’s statement preemptively rebuffed such inquiries on privacy grounds. YNet reported that Weisman and his wife, Yael, were raised on the same settlement, Maaleh Michmash.

The Obama administration in November was criticized by some Jewish groups for not condemning swiftly or forcefully enough the murder of Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year old American on his gap year in Israel.

Also on Friday, two Border Police officers and a Palestinian woman standing nearby were injured in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian in Jerusalem, and a Palestinian was shot to death, while allegedly trying to ram a car into Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, near Ramallah. No Israelis were wounded.

The Palestinian bystander, a Jerusalem resident, was lightly injured after being hit in the leg with fragments from shots Israeli forces fired at the attacker. She was lightly hurt. After being treated on the scene by medics, she was taken to an East Jerusalem hospital.

The suspected assailants in Thursday’s killing are Palestinian boys ages 14 and 15 from the West Bank town of Beitunia, near Ramallah, Israel Police said. After they were shot and injured by an armed civilian bystander, Sabah died of his wounds, according to the Times of Israel, and Rimawi is in the hospital.

The police said the teens had spent about 20 minutes inside the store before carrying out the attack.

The Rami Levy chain is known for hiring Jewish and Palestinian workers in its West Bank stores, as well as catering to both Jewish and Arab shoppers.


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