JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli father of four was fatally stabbed in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.
Israeli security forces are searching the area for the Palestinian assailant in the Monday afternoon attack, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman said. An IDF officer who identified the attacker began to pursue him in his vehicle and hit him, but the attacker still was able to flee, according to the IDF.
The attacker’s backpack was found on the scene containing a change of clothes and his identification card, as well as personal items. Hebrew-language media later reported that the attacker, Ais Abed El-Hakim, 19, is an Israeli citizen and resident of Jaffa, the son of an Israeli mother from Haifa and a Palestinian father from Nablus.
The victim, identified as Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal, 29, from the nearby settlement of Har Bracha, was stabbed multiple times on his upper body at a bus stop near the entrance to Ariel. Paramedics worked to resuscitate him on the way to a hospital in central Israel, where he was pronounced dead.
The mayor of Ariel, Eli Shaviro, called on the Israeli government to impose sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the West Bank, calling it the “answer to Palestinian terrorism.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, calls on the Security Council to “unequivocally condemn” the attack. “Instead of inviting Mahmoud Abbas to address the Security Council to disseminate lies and hate, the Council should unequivocally condemn this attack and demand that he stop paying stipends to terrorists,” he said in a statement. Abbas, the president of the Paslestinian Authority, is scheduled to deliver a speech to the council later this month, addressing the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Hamas reportedly praised the deadly stabbing attack calling it “proof that the al-Quds intifada continues.”