EU slams ‘reprehensible’ Hamas praise for Har Adar terror attack
US peace envoy says ‘shame on Hamas’ for praising shooting by Palestinian worker, who killed a border cop and 2 security guards
The United States and European Union condemned Tuesday’s “horrific” terror attack in Har Adar, in which a Border Police officer and two security guards were shot dead by a Palestinian from a nearby village.
Both Washington and the 28-nation bloc singled out Hamas for criticism, with the latter saying the terror organization’s praise for the deadly shooting was “reprehensible.”
“There can be no justification for such a crime and attempts by Hamas to glorify the attack are reprehensible. Violence and terror will only achieve more loss and pain and must stop,” the EU said in a statement late Tuesday afternoon.
The Hamas terror group had praised the attack, saying, “Once again Jerusalem proves that it is at the heart of the conflict with the occupation, and that there is no way to get it out of the equation of the conflict.”
The American Embassy did not single out Hamas in a joint statement with its consulate in Jerusalem: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific attack in Har Adar. We also condemn statements glorifying terrorism and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated,”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims who were killed and we hope for a quick and full recovery of the injured,” it added.
Also condemning the terror attack was US President Donald Trump’s envoy for Middle East peace Jason Greenblatt, who arrived in the country hours before the shooting, as part of the White House’s continued efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
“My family & I are horrified by the attack in Har Adar. Shame on Hamas & others who praised the attack. All must stand against terror!,” tweeted Greenblatt, who also said he was praying for the victims of the attack and their families.
The ambassadors of Canada, France, the UN, and the US condemned the attack earlier on Tuesday.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tweeted: “Once again, Israelis confront the cruel and evil brutality of unprovoked terrorism.”
In the attack, the assailant arrived at the rear entrance of the settlement northwest of Jerusalem and opened fire on a group of security personnel, including Border Police officers and the community’s private guards, who were opening the entrance to Palestinian workers, according to police.
The terrorist, identified as Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal, a laborer from the nearby Bayt Surik village, was shot and killed by security forces at the scene, police said.
The 37-year-old approached the entrance to Har Adar just after 7 a.m. as part of a group of Palestinians who work in the settlement. The Shin Bet domestic security service said he did not have a known history of involvement in terrorist activities.
He “aroused the suspicion” of officers on the scene, who called for him to stop. The terrorist then took a pistol out of his shirt and shot at the Israelis, before being gunned down, police said.
The three Israelis killed in the terror attack were named as border policeman Solomon Gavriyah, 20, and civilian security guards Youssef Ottman, 25, from Abu Ghosh and Or Arish, 25, a resident of Har Adar.
The three were all buried on Tuesday.
Following the attack, the IDF imposed a closure on Bayt Surik, raided Jamal’s home, arrested his two brothers and sent additional troops to the area around Har Adar, which lies along the “seam line” between the West Bank and Israel proper.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier that Israel would demolish the terrorist’s home and rescind the work permits held by the terrorist’s relatives.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.