GUSHETZION, West Bank (Reuters) – A Palestinian fatally stabbed an American-born Jewish settler in the occupied West Bank on Sunday then was himself shot and seized by armed civilians who gave chase.
The victim, Ari Fuld, 45, was well-known amongst settlers as a pro-Israel advocate. According to his Twitter account, he had planned a lecture tour in the United States in November.
Israeli police said the Palestinian who stabbed him in the back at a shopping mall in the Etzion bloc of Jewish settlements south of Jerusalem was shot and wounded by one of several armed civilians – including a bleeding Fuld – who gave chase.
The suspected assailant, identified in Israeli media as a 17-year-old from a West Bank village, was taken into custody.
Palestinian street attacks against Israelis, many carried out by assailants with no known affiliation to militant groups, have been sporadic since 2015, a year after peace talks collapsed.
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Hamas militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, called the West Bank stabbing a “natural response to Israeli crimes against Palestinians” in occupied territory. It did not claim responsibility for the attack.
David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, said on Twitter that “America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist.”
Friedman, who raised money for Jewish settlements as a private citizen, said Fuld “represented the best of both countries and will be deeply missed”. Fuld, a father of four, lived in the settlement of Efrat, in the Etzion area.
Most countries view Israeli settlements, on occupied land Palestinians claim for a state as illegal. Israel disputes this.
(Writing by Dan Williams and Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Angus MacSwan)