Fatah party representatives praised as a hero a Palestinian attacker who stabbed an Israeli to death at a West Bank junction on Tuesday.
The organization posted pictures from the scene of the attack on its official Facebook page, accompanying each image with a caption boasting of the stabber’s “success.” Officials also expressed hope that he would be quickly released from prison.
“The settler who was killed today at al-Za’atara south of Nablus by the released prisoner hero Salam As’ad Zaghal from the city of Tulkarem,” read a caption beneath a picture of Evyatar Borowsky, a 31-year-old father of five who was stabbed to death by Zaghal earlier Tuesday at Tapuah junction.
Another photograph on the group’s Facebook page showed a portrait of Zaghal with an illustration of an AK-47 rifle beneath his head. “Peace be with you the day of your birth, on the day of your imprisonment and on the day of your freedom,” the caption wished the terrorist.
Zaghal was released from Israeli prison last month after serving a three-year term for throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, as well as other criminal offenses. Israeli security officials estimated that Zaghal’s attack may have been carried out in order to establish his credentials as a loyal Palestinian, after his brother was tried by a Palestinian Authority court Monday for allegedly collaborating with Israel.
Friends of Evyatar Borowsky were shocked by the news of his death. “He was a talented man who always laughed about everything,” Oshri Maimon, the director of the Erel theater group of which Borowsky was a member, told Ynet Tuesday. “He had quite a personality.”
“I remember Evyatar was always welcoming, always with a smile,” Borowski’s high school rabbi, Nesiel Ben-Tov, told Ynet. “He was a student with lots of good traits and love for others. He never did anything problematic.”
Following the deadly attack, the Israeli Almagor Terror Victims Association called on Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to restate Israel’s defense policy in the West Bank and issue explicit orders to open fire on rock-throwing Palestinians.
“Central Command is responding to a wholesale ‘intifada’ by the Palestinians with the tools of low-intensity warfare,” Almagor CEO Meir Indor stated. “The terrorist was able to get to and murder Evyatar Borovski at an Egged bus stop solely because of soldiers’ orders to ‘go easy’ on rock throwers and let them move around freely.”
Later Tuesday, local media and human rights groups reported that retaliatory acts by settlers from Yitzhar, where Borowsky lived, and Tapuah followed the lethal stabbing. Rabbis for Human Rights, an Israeli watchdog, reported that settlers attacked and moderately injured a Palestinian farmer near the village of Furiq and uprooted some 100 olive trees near the village of Qaryut.
Six settlers were arrested in connection with the violence.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Mujahideen movement, an Islamist offshoot of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades, congratulated the perpetrator of Tuesday’s fatal stabbing attack.
“We welcome any act of resistance against this corrupt enemy,” said the movement’s spokesman, Abu-Omar, in a statement published on the movement’s website.
The stabbing, the statement continued, is a “natural response to the occupation’s aggression and its continuous attacks on all things Palestinian in the West Bank.”