The knife intifada continues. Thursday morning a Palestinian teenager broke into a home in the West Bank and stabbed a sleeping 13-year-old girl to death. Authorities have since revealed the girl, Hallel Ariel, was an American citizen. The Times of Israel reports:
“Like all adolescents during summer vacation, my daughter was asleep — tranquil, calm — and a terrorist came and murdered her in her bed,” Rina Ariel, the mother of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, told reporters outside Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where the teenager was taken after sustaining critical injuries in the attack earlier Thursday.
She arrived with multiple stab wounds to her upper body and was pronounced dead shortly after.
Ariel was stabbed to death in her room on Thursday morning when a Palestinian teen, identified as Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, 17, from Bani Na’im, jumped the fence into the settlement, broke into her house and stabbed her to death, before also stabbing a civilian security guard who arrived at the scene. Tarayrah was shot and killed by other guards.
The Jerusalem Post reports on her mother’s heartbreaking speech to mourners:
“I am giving you one last hug,” Ariel said on Thursday evening as she eulogized Hallel in front of the hundreds of mourners who filled the small park a short walk from their home in Kiryat Arba near Hebron…
With her eyes to the sky, she called out to God and asked, “How do you eulogize a 13-and-a-half-year-old girl. Tell me what words to use to eulogize a flower, a pure soul, who is courageous and beautiful.”
The IDF published this shocking photo of the scene of the attack:
13-yr-old girl wounded in stabbing attack has succumbed to her wounds. pic.twitter.com/H00mKr6XJp
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) June 30, 2016
According to Palestinian Media Watch, the 17-year-old murderer is being honored as a martyr on social media (they also report the killer’s mother has praised his actions):
Fatah’s official Facebook page immediately posted his picture, declaring him a Martyr – “Shahid,” the highest honor achievable in Islam according to the Palestinian Authority.
WAFA, the official PA news agency, likewise honored the terrorist, referring to him as a Martyr – “Shahid.”
Also today, two Israelis were stabbed by a Palestinian attacker in the city of Netanya, one of the victims is a 62-year-old woman. Haaretz reports:
The two wounded, a 40-year-old ultra-Orthodox man in and a 62-year-old woman were rushed to receive medical care in moderate and light conditions.
The assailant was identified as 46-year-old Wa’il Abu Saleh, a resident of Tulkarm, a Palestinian village just east of Netanya in the West Bank.
Hallel Ariel is the 39th Israeli killed since the latest wave of violence began. Today the IDF posted these horrifying figures indicating the level of violence just since last September:
- 143 Stabbings
- 48 Shootings
- 29 Car Rammings
- 1 Suicide Bombing
From the Associated Press, here is the response from the State Department: