Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, praised the murder of Ari Fuld on Sunday, saying it was a “natural response to Zionist crimes against the Palestinians.”
The Palestinian Authority did not immediately comment on the terrorist attack.
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The PA’s official news agency, Wafa, reported on the attack in a brief item under the headline: “The occupation injures a teenager south of Bethlehem.”
The report identified the terrorist as 17-year-old Khalil Ali Jabarin of the town of Yatta south of Hebron. According to the report, “under the pretext that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack” in Gush Etzion.
Hamas quickly reacted to the terrorist attack and called it a “heroic stabbing operation.”
Husam Badran, a senior Hamas official, said in a statement: “We welcome this heroic operation and affirm that harming al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line.” The terrorist attack, he added, came in response to what Israel is planning to do in the al-Aqsa Mosque. Our Palestinian people will not remain silent towards the ongoing violations against al-Aqsa.”
The Hamas official was referring to visits by Jews to the Temple Mount, which Palestinians claim are aimed at altering the status quo at the holy site.
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The PA and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, have condemned the visits and accused Jews of “defiling” the Islamic compound, which Jews also claim as a holy site.
PA-controlled media outlets regularly describe the visits as “violent invasions by Jewish extremists” to al-Aqsa Mosque.
Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Qanou also praised the terrorist attack, and said it proved that the intifada against Israel was continuing.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second largest terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, issued a statement praising the “heroic operation against Zionist terrorism.” It said the murder of Fuld was a “natural response to Zionist crimes against our people, our lands and our holy sites.”
The group called on Palestinians in the West Bank to step up “military operations” against settlers.
Another Gaza-based terrorist group, the Popular Resistance Committees, said in a statement that the attack was a “form of popular resistance against the Zionist-American conspiracy” against the Palestinians.
Palestinians refer to US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East as an Israeli-American “conspiracy aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause.”
The armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), a PLO terrorist faction, hailed the attack as a “natural response to Israeli crimes.” It said the “resistance will eventually force the occupation to go away,” and called for additional attacks on IDF soldiers and settlers.
The terrorist’s grandfather, Jamal, said the family did not know of their son’s intention to carry out the attack.
“He left home early in the morning,” he said. “He told his mother that he would return for breakfast before going to school. We later learned from the media and neighbors that he had been injured and taken to hospital.”
Unconfirmed reports said the terrorist’s family notified the PA security forces that he was missing after he failed to return home or show up for school.
Sources in Yatta said the IDF detained the terrorist’s father and two brothers for questioning.
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