Israeli authorities are looking into a possible connection between the teen who carried out a stabbing attack inside a settlement near Jerusalem Thursday and a Palestinian man from the same village who killed three in a stabbing attack inside another settlement last year.
An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said there could be links between Mohammad Tareq Yousef, accused of fatally stabbing one person and knifing two others in Adam Thursday night, and Omar al-Abed, who killed three members of the Salomon family in a gruesome attack inside the settlement of Halamish in 2017. Both Yousef, 17, and Abed, 19 at the time of the attack, hailed from the West Bank village of Kobar, near Ramallah.
“There are similarities” between the two terror attacks, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said.
Officials say Yousef climbed over Adam’s security fence, venturing into a playground inside the settlement, where he encountered the 31-year-old resident, and stabbed him repeatedly in the upper torso, killing him.
Two other people who came to investigate were also knifed, though the third victim managed to shoot and kill the terrorist.
On July 22, 2017, Abed sneaked through the security fence surrounding Halamish and found his way to a home where several members of the Salomon family had gathered for a Friday night meal and to celebrate a birth. He entered the home and stabbed four people, killing three of them.
Prior to the attack, he left a message on Facebook saying he was carrying it out over tensions surrounding the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, also known as the Temple Mount.
Authorities say Yousef may have also left a note on Facebook about his attack prior to sneaking into the settlement. In both cases, the Facebook post was described by Israeli authorities as a will or final testament.
Abed, who was shot and arrested during the attack, was sentenced in February to four life sentences over the attack.
The mayor of Kobar, a Palestinian village of some 6,000 people adjacent to Halamish, said he did not know of any social connection between Yousef and Abed, according to Israel Radio.
Shortly after the attack, Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev blamed Palestinian incitement for goading Yousef into action.
“A youth brainwashed with hatred and filled with incitement goes out with an ax and a knife to murder families in their homes,” she said in a statement. “We need to root out the source of this hatred where it is grown by the Palestinian Authority.