United States Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said in a post on social media on Wednesday that those wondering why no peace can be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians should look no further than Tuesday night’s murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach and the Palestinian reaction to it, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA [Palestinian Authority] laws will provide them financial rewards,” Friedman wrote on his Twitter account. “Look no further to why there is no peace. Praying for the bereaved Shevach family,” he added.
Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a father of six children and resident of Havat Gilad, was shot multiple times in his neck and upper body in a drive-by attack carried out by a Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank. Shevach was evacuated in critical condition to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where he was later pronounced dead.
In response to the murder, Hamas issued a statement praising the attack. “We bless the heroic Nablus operation which comes as a result of the Zionist occupation’s violations and crimes at the expense of our people in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”
Fatah, the party headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, posted a message on Facebook boasting of “a killed settler.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, responded to Ambassador Friedman’s tweet, thanking the United States for standing with Israel and for trying to bring an end to the Palestinian Authority’s sponsorship of terrorism.
“Dear Ambassador Friedman, we deeply appreciate your solidarity with Israel,” said Hotovely, adding that “We value your partnership in the fight against terror and your understanding that the Palestinian Authority’s support of terrorists lies at the root of the problem.”
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, also condemned the attack on social media. “There is no justification for terror and those who condone it, praise it or glorify it. This is not the path to peace! The perpetrators of yesterday’s attack must be brought to justice,” he wrote.
Tuesday’s attack comes at a time when a report by the Israeli Ministry of Defense revealed that terrorists and their families are handsomely rewarded for their crimes by the Palestinian Authority. Last year, they paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to so-called “martyrs’ families fund” and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club — some 7 percent of its overall budget.
The Trump administration has reportedly been frustrated by Abbas’s refusal to denounce terror against Israel. In a public appearance with Abbas in May of last year, President Donald Trump told the PA’s leader that “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded.”
[Photo: Alexander Muss High School in Israel / YouTube]