A Palestinian teenager allegedly stabbed an American-born Jewish man to death at a West Bank shopping center on Sunday, Israeli authorities said.
The victim was identified as Ari Fuld, 45, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen widely known as a vocal pro-Israel activist in the West Bank settler community, Reuters reported.
Israeli police said a 17-year-old Palestinian stabbed Fuld in the back at a mall in the Etzion bloc of Jewish settlements, which are about five miles south of Jerusalem. The assailant was shot and wounded by one of several armed civilians who chased him after the attack, police said.
Fuld reportedly also gave chase before succumbing to his wounds.
Street attacks by Palestinians against Israelis have been a regular occurrence since 2015, when peace talks between Israel and Palestinian leadership collapsed. Since then, Palestinians have killed more than 50 Israelis — as well as two traveling Americans and a British tourist — in sudden attacks, according to the Associated Press.
Over the same time period, Israeli forces killed more 260 Palestinians, many in clashes between security forces and armed demonstrators along the Israel-Gaza border.
The Fuld stabbing caused an immediate reaction on social media.
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) September 16, 2018
"Ari Fuld was a defender of Israel whose life was cut short in violence,as he heroically confronted his attacker,saving the lives of other innocent bystanders.” WJC condemns deadly Gush Etzion stabbing,demands PA take immediate measures to curb incitement: https://t.co/96kFa16abH pic.twitter.com/zkDy07sQdv
— WJC (@WorldJewishCong) September 16, 2018
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman lamented the killing of Fuld, whom he called “an American patriot” in a statement Sunday.
“America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist,” Friedman wrote on Twitter. “Ari Fuld was a passionate defender of Israel & an American patriot. He represented the best of both countries & will be deeply missed.”
Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, did not claim responsibility for the attack but said it was a “natural response to Israeli crimes against Palestinians” in the West Bank.
A 45-year-old father of four, Fuld was a well-known English-language internet commentator on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He was the assistant director of Standing Together, an organization that supports Israel Defense Forces soldiers, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Fuld had been planning a speaking tour in the U.S. in November to “reclaim the narrative” surrounding the conflict, according to his Facebook page.
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