At least 2 Israelis killed in settlement stabbing attack, assailant shot

22:00 Jul 21 2017 Israeli settlement of Halamish (also known as Neve Zuf)

At least 2 Israelis killed in settlement stabbing attack, assailant shot At least 2 Israelis killed in settlement stabbing attack, assailant shot
The illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Zuf. (AFP/ File) Published by Maan News

Medics treating a woman injured in the attack (L); the murder scene (R).
Published by Haaretz

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- JULY 21, 2017 11:28 P.M. (UPDATED: JULY 21, 2017 11:28 P.M.)

At least two Israelis were killed in a stabbing attack in the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Zuf in the central occupied West Bank on Friday night, the Israeli army said.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that an assailant entered a home in the settlement, also known as Halamish, and stabbed four Israelis.

They added that two of the Israelis succumbed to their wounds, while the two others were hospitalized.

The assailant was shot, the spokesperson said, although at of 11:15 p.m., they could not state whether the attacker was dead or not.

However, Israeli news outlets reported that three Israelis -- a man and a woman in their sixties, and a man in his forties -- had been killed, while another woman was being treated.

The deadly attack took place after three Palestinians were killed by Israelis during violent clashes on Friday.

Palestinian Stabs Three Israelis to Death During Family Meal in Settlement Home

The grandchildren were locked in a room and weren't hurt; the killer was shot but is still alive

by Gili Cohen , Yotam Berger and Jack Khoury for Haaretz
Jul 22, 2017 8:54 AM

A Palestinian stabbed a father and two of his children to death and seriously injured his wife in a home in the West Bank settlement Halamish Friday.

The family was having a festive Shabbat dinner to celebrate a new addition to the family when a 20-year-old Palestinian from the neighboring town of Khobar entered the house armed with a knife. One of the women present rushed the children into a room, called the police and hid. Meanwhile the intruder stabbed four members of the family. He was stopped by a neighbor, an off-duty soldier, who heard the shouting, rushed over to the house and shot him.

The victims are a husband and wife in their 60s and their son and daughter who were in their 40s. Medical teams rushed them to Shaare Zedek medical center in Jerusalem, but were only able to save the mother.

The murderer, Omar el-Abed, was rushed to Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva where his injuries are being treated. Several hours before making his way into the settlement and murdering the three, el-Abed wrote on Facebook (in Arabic): "I'm 20, I have many dreams, but there is no life after what is seen in Al-Aqsa."

Israeli security forces say the assailant identifies with Hamas, but is not considered an active member in the organization. During a preliminary interrogation, he said he recently bought the knife used in the attack amid tension surrounding the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Following the attack, the Israeli military decided to send additional troops to the West Bank, on top of the forces already deployed over the past 48 hours. "We have been seeing an awakening in the field since the morning. This is the third terrorist attack inspired by the events at Al-Aqsa in recent days," a senior IDF officer told Haaretz.

Hamas expressed its support for the killing. Hamas spokesman Husam Badran said: "We will continue fighting the occupation in all points of friction for the support of Al-Aqsa."

The incident comes after a day of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank that left at least three Palestinians dead in clashes with Israel.

Every Israeli Should Read the Palestinian Assailant’s Last Will and Testament

No one dared ask why Omar al-Abed, a 20-year-old with dreams and aspirations, bought a knife and set out to kill

by Gideon Levy for Haaretz
Jul 23, 2017 4:00 AM

Every decent Israeli should read Omar al-Abed’s last testament. The real betrayal is not to read his last words. The real betrayal is to think that metal detectors and targeted killings, more detentions and home demolitions, torture and disinheritance could prevent the numerous attacks that are yet to come. The real betrayal is to bury your head in the sand.

Without denying the horror of his terrible deed, every Israeli must pay attention to Abed’s words and draw the unavoidable conclusions. The entire West Bank, and the Gaza Strip too, of course, will turn into Omar al-Abed, there’s no telling when. Anyone who thinks it could be otherwise should look to history. This is what occupation and resistance to it look like: massive, pointless bloodshed.

“These are my last words,” wrote the young man from the West Bank village of Kobar before setting out to kill settlers in the adjacent settlement of Halamish. “I am young, not yet 20. I had many dreams and aspirations, but what kind of life is this, with our women and youths murdered without justification?”

What could we have told Abed? That their women and youths were not being murdered without justification? Abed lived in a beautiful village, in a reality that could not be uglier. His neighbor Nael Barghouti, for example, who was released from an Israeli prison after serving 33 years for murdering a bus driver, was returned to prison — in an act of terrible arbitrariness — ostensibly for violating the terms of his parole. Another neighbor, naturally, is Marwan Barghouti, who in a more just and less stupid world would have long been free ago to lead his nation.

Abed set out to kill settlers because “they desecrate the Al-Aqsa mosque and we sleep,” because “it’s a disgrace that we sit by idly.” As Israeli Border Police officers conducted a sickening search for corpses in the morgue of East Jerusalem’s Makassed Hospital, Abed planned his bloody deed. As his peers in Jerusalem tried to rescue the bleeding body of their friend, lest Israel abduct it, as is its wont, he was unable to remain silent. “You who have weapons that are rusting, that you take out only for weddings and celebrations, are you not ashamed of yourselves? Why won’t you declare war in the name of God? They have closed Al-Aqsa and your weapons are still.”

The words sound almost biblical. Similar ones have been written in the course of every struggle for liberation, including our own, of course. They are accompanied by religious terms, because the writer believes in God. In other struggles, too, such as ours, religion was harnessed to in the service of the nation. What would you have told Abed had you met him before he set out to sow death, other than “Thou shalt not kill”? That he should yield and surrender? That justice is not on his side, but on that of the occupation? That he has a hope of living a normal life? What could an Israeli say to a desperate young Palestinian who indeed has no future, no opportunity for change, no hopeful scenario, a man whose life is one long humiliation? What would you have told him?

Despair runs deep in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip it is even worse. This should keep every Israeli awake at night, since their state bears most of the responsibility for this situation. But if the moral responsibility for the Palestinians’ despair is not enough to prevent Israelis from sleeping, then the fact that this despair augurs ill for them as well should be sufficient. Abed had nothing to lose, and the person with nothing to lose is the most dangerous of enemies. Not even Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan can stop him.

The Israeli army raided Kobar on Saturday, imposing a closure and arresting one of Abed’s brothers, everything proceeding as usual. Soldiers conducted an “engineering survey” of the family’s home. The defense minister and the army chief of staff were given a “security survey.” The new Labor Party Chairman, Avi Gabbay, called for a condemnation, Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid termed Abed a “base terrorist” and Labor’s Tzipi Livni said “we are united in our grief.” No one dared ask why Omar al-Abed, a 20-year-old with dreams and aspirations, bought a knife and set out to kill.
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