Amb. David Friedman sends condolence letter to family of slain West Bank rabbi


Rabbi Raziel Shevach, right, shown with his family, was killed in a shooting near Nablus in the northern West Bank. (Facebook)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sent a condolence letter to the family of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was killed last week in a drive-by shooting attack in the West Bank.

Shevach, 35, the father of six children ages 8 months to 11 years old, was shot Tuesday night by a passing car near Nablus, in the northern West Bank, while he was driving past the Gilad Farm junction. Shevach lived in the nearby Gilad Farm outpost. He was buried the following day at Gilad Farm, in a funeral attended by hundreds of mourners. His widow, Yael, said it was his wish to be buried on the hilltop.

“On behalf of the United States, I offer our nation’s heartfelt condolences upon the tragic murder of your husband and father,” Friedman, who currently is on a trip to the United States, wrote in the letter that was published in the Jerusalem Post.

Friedman said in the letter that he “received countless communications extolling the virtues of this very special man.”

“As an emergency first responder, mohel, and a revered teacher, Rav Shevach clearly was an extraordinary person more concerned with others than with himself. He epitomized the hard working, dedicated individuals who have built and sustained the State of Israel,” the letter said.

The family finished sitting shiva on Monday. Friedman said in the letter that he had hoped to “deliver these words of sympathy to you personally during your period of shiva, but my schedule requires that I be out of the country for a few more days.”

Friedman came under fire for a tweet he sent the day after the attack Friedman which said: “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace.”

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