The mother of a 13-year-old girl murdered in her bedroom in a terror attack Thursday morning tearfully recalled her daughter’s last moments, as politicians and others expressed outrage over the stabbing attack inside a West Bank settlement home.
“Like all adolescents during summer vacation, my daughter was asleep — tranquil, calm — and a terrorist came and murdered her in her bed,” Rina Ariel, the mother of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, told reporters outside Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where the teenager was taken after sustaining critical injuries in the attack earlier Thursday.
She arrived with multiple stab wounds to her upper body and was pronounced dead shortly after.
Ariel was stabbed to death in her room on Thursday morning when a Palestinian teen, identified as Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, 17, from Bani Na’im, jumped the fence into the settlement, broke into her house and stabbed her to death, before also stabbing a civilian security guard who arrived at the scene. Tarayrah was shot and killed by other guards.
Ariel’s father, Avichai, described her as “an amazing girl who hadn’t done a thing to anyone.”
Rina Ariel called on Israelis to attend her daughter’s funeral, scheduled for 6 p.m. later Thursday in Hebron.
“I ask that everyone look at the pain, come to comfort [us], come to strengthen [us], come tell us that our Kiryat Arba is still a place to live in and not die. Hallel, may her memory be a blessing,” she said.
The girl’s aunt said her niece was “the most amazing girl in the world” and that he family was “mourning a big loss.”
The aunt said the girl had a dance performance Wednesday night and slept in on Thursday when a “despised terrorist came and murdered a sleeping little girl in her bed.”
The terror attack was condemned by Israeli politicians across the political spectrum.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the terror attack demonstrated the “bloodlust and inhumanity of incitement-driven terrorists against whom we stand.”
Netanyahu called on the world to condemn the “shocking” attack as it did the terror attacks at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month — in which 49 people were killed in the worst shooting attack in modern US history — and the shooting and suicide bombings at the airport and a metro station in the Belgian capital in March which claimed the lives of 32 people.
“The whole world must condemn this terror attack like the terror attacks in Orlando and Brussels were condemned,” he said.
Netanyahu said he expected the Palestinian Authority to denounce the attack “clearly and unequivocally” and “take immediate steps to stop the incitement.”
“Enlightened nations must join in this demand. They must pressure the one who heads the network of incitement that leads to the murder of children in their beds and not the State of Israel, which is working to protect its children and its citizens,” he said.
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced a series of responses to the attack, including a lockdown of the Palestinian village from which the assailant hailed and the revocation of his relatives’ work permits.
Netanyahu’s office said approval to demolish the terrorist’s home was underway.
Israel has repeatedly accused the Palestinian Authority of inciting against Israel, leading to the wave of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces over the past nine months.
Thursday’s murder of the teenager brings the death toll of Israelis killed in the spate of Palestinian terror attacks since October 1 to 34, with four other foreign nationals also killed in the series of stabbing, shooting, car-ramming and suicide attacks. Over 200 Palestinians have also been killed over that same time frame, the majority of them while carrying out terror attacks, according to Israeli authorities.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry fired off a harsh tweet following the terror attack, also blaming the incident on Palestinian incitement.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Emmanuel Nahshon, wrote that he hopes all European Parliament members who applauded Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week in Brussels “finally understand that Palestinian incitement leads to murder.”
Hope that all #EP members who applauded Abbas vicious lies last week will finally understand that Palestinian incitement leads to murder
— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) June 30, 2016
Abbas made inflammatory remarks last week at the European Union, urging that the Israeli presence in the West Bank was the root of terrorism worldwide, and repeating an anti-Semitic blood libel about Jews poisoning wells, later retracted.
Some of his remarks were applauded by European lawmakers.
The head of the left-wing Meretz party said the murder of the young girl was “heartbreaking.”
“It’s impossible to imagine the amount of hatred needed to stab a 13-year-old girl in her bed, but it’s clear that too many children have died in this conflict,” Zehava Galon wrote on Facebook.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said the terrorist’s family should be deported to Syria or Gaza immediately.
“Only the deportation of the families of terrorists can be a deterrent against [Palestinian] youths raised to hate and kill Jews,’ he said.
Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev (Likud) said the home of the terrorist’s family should be demolished right away, and called on Liberman to fulfill his promise to fast-track home demolitions of convicted terrorists.
“Destroy the home of this satan’s family,” she said, adding that “the heart breaks over this girl killed in her sleep. May God avenge her blood.”