December 9, 2018

Israeli Arab Murders Rabbi In Stabbing Attack

An Israeli Arab stabbed a rabbi to death on Feb. 5 and has yet to be apprehended.

According to Israel’s newspaper Haaretz, the victim, 29-year-old Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal, a middle school teacher, was waiting at a bus stop outside of the Ariel settlement in the West Bank when the suspected assailant, identified by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as 19-year-old Jaffa resident Abed al-Hakim Asi, emerged from a taxi cab and stabbed Ben Gal. According to Israeli media network Arutz Sheva, Ben Gal then reportedly ran to a bus and banged on the doors, pleading for help before losing consciousness. Ben Gal was then taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to the wounds.

An IDF officer who witnessed the stabbing tried to strike Asi with his car but Asi was able to evade capture.

“We send condolences to the family,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a Likud faction meeting on Feb. 5. “IDF forces are in pursuit and we will employ the full extent of the law with them. We always do. I place my trust in security forces, who are doing excellent work.”

Hamas praised the stabbing as a way of protesting President Trump’s Jerusalem move, as one of their spokesmen said the stabbing showed “the intifada is continuing.” Islamic Jihad also praised the attack, while the Palestinian Authority has yet to say anything about it.

The funeral for Ben Gal was held on Feb. 6 in the Har Brakha settlement in the West Bank, where Ben Gal resided, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“I wish I had died instead of you,” Ben Gal’s father, Daniel Ben Gal, said in his eulogy. “We have no idea how we will continue without you, without your smile and your good face that was always radiant.”

Ben Gal is survived by his wife, Miriam, and four children.