Brother and father of suspected terrorist detained Monday; Rabbi injured in attack dies Monday; Hamas, Islamic Jihad praise attack; UNHRC call to arrest IDF soldiers, boycott of West Bank settlements.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israel Security Agency (ISA) continue their manhunt for the terrorist responsible for killing an IDF soldier and rabbi in a shooting attack at the Ariel Junction on Sunday. One of those injured in the attack, Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, 47, from the settlement of Eli, succumbed to his wounds on Monday morning. He was a husband and father to 12 children.
More details of the shooting and stabbing attacks were shared with Israeli media on Monday. According to some reports, an IDF commander shot the terrorist in the shoulder as he fled the scene of the attack. IDF forces on Monday detained both the father and brother of the suspected terrorist, Omar Abu Lila, 19, from the Palestinian village of Az-Zawiya in the West Bank.
Hamas claimed responsibility for Sunday’s terror attack and praised the terrorist as a martyr. It claimed on Sunday, “Hamas praises the heroic Salfit operation… which came in response to the occupation’s crimes. The courageous and bold operation affirms that resistance in all of its forms is the most powerful and successful option to deter the [Israeli] occupation, foil its plans and protect and defend the Palestinian people’s rights and holy sites.” The terror attack was also praised by members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman released a statement, condemning the attack on behalf of the Trump Administration and criticizing PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s silence following the attack. He stated on Monday, “I am heartbroken by the murder of Sergeant Gal Keidan & Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger. Praying for Alexander Dvorsky (who was injured in the shooting). Hamas, as usual, is celebrating and Abu Mazen [Abbas], who properly joined with all civilized people in condemning the terrorist attack in Christchurch, is now deafening in his silence. He added, “Israelis attacking Palestinians are condemned, prosecuted and incarcerated by the Israeli government. Palestinians attacking Israelis are celebrated, compensated and venerated by the PA leadership and/or Hamas. And there lies the problem.”
The family of the Ariel terror attack will be paid a monthly stipend by the PA for the Israelis he killed. Referred to as the “Palestinian Authority Martyrs Fund”, monthly stipends, anywhere from $800 to $3,000, are given to the families of terrorists. The fund includes resources for incarcerated Palestinian terrorists and their families, as well as funds for the families of terrorists who were killed by Israeli security forces.
Israel is combatting this and recently passed legislation permitting the deduction of tax revenues to make up for funds for terror. In protest, the PA announced it would no longer receive the tax revenues, Abbas vowing to continue and prioritize payments under the martyrs fund.
Also on Monday, during the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, member states are reportedly pursuing efforts to again claim human rights violations and war crimes against the IDF and State of Israel. According to initial reports, council members want to call for the arrest of IDF soldiers who killed violent Palestinian protestors and rioters as part of the “Great March of the Return” which has been ongoing since March of last year. The council is meeting to discuss a recent UNHRC Commission of Inquiry that accuses Israel of war crimes, among many other things. The council has reportedly once again called for a boycott of Israeli settlements.