US Ambassador David Friedman at the knesset.
(photo credit: MATTY STERN, US EMBASSY TEL AVIV)
US Ambassador David Friedman underlined in a tweet on Tuesday that Palestinian “leaders” praised the terrorist who killed Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal in the previous night’s terrorist attack in Ariel.
“20 years ago I gave an ambulance to Har Bracha hoping it would be used to deliver healthy babies,” Friedman wrote on his Twitter account. “Instead, a man from Har Bracha was just murdered by a terrorist, leaving behind a wife and four children. Palestinian ‘leaders’ have praised the killer. Praying for the Ben-Gal family.”
Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Qanu said in a statement after the attack that his organization “welcomes such successful operations.” Another Hamas spokesman praised the attack as “a continuation of the resistance to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.”
Following the murder last month of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, Friedman tweeted, “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. Praying for the bereaved Shevach family.”
US Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt also tweeted a response to the Ben-Gal murder, and addressed the question of what kind of reactions would be forthcoming.
“Itamar Ben-Gal, an Israeli father of four, was stabbed to death by a terrorist while waiting for a bus. I pray for his family and all those affected. Will this attack be condemned or glorified?”
Following the Shevach murder Greenblatt wrote on his Twitter account, “Palestinian terrorists murdered Rabbi Shevach, father of 6 young children. Hamas & Fatah glorify his murder. This violence & horrific glorification will only incite more attacks & rob Palestinians of the chance for peace. I pray for the Shevach family.”
On Tuesday, several PA and Fatah officials declined to respond to requests for comment about the attacks.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas usually does not condemn attacks against Israelis, but he also frequently states that he is opposed to violence.Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.