‘Justice was done’: Family of slain soldier hail killing of fugitive attacker

Noa Lazar’s family says death of Palestinian who killed her brings them ‘closure’; Lapid vows to ‘act with an iron hand’ against all terrorists

Sgt Noa Lazar, 18, who was killed in a shooting attack in East Jerusalem on October 8, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Sgt Noa Lazar, 18, who was killed in a shooting attack in East Jerusalem on October 8, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The family of an Israeli soldier killed earlier this month expressed relief on Wednesday after the Palestinian gunman who shot her was killed in the West Bank.

Udai Tamimi, who police said killed Sgt. Noa Lazar, was shot to death on Wednesday evening after opening fire at security guards near the entrance to the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

“The family thanks the security forces for their great and tireless efforts,” Lazar’s family said in a statement.

“This elimination brings us closure and justice was done quickly. The family thanks the people of Israel for their support in these difficult moments,” they said.

The head of the IDF’s Personnel Directorate, Maj. Gen. Yaniv Asor, visited Lazar’s family on Wednesday night shortly after they learned of Tamimi’s death.

“There are no words that can comfort the family in the most difficult moment, the death of their beloved daughter,” Asor said.

“Noa is an example and a model of the spirit of giving and dedication of combat soldiers who have the mission of defending the nation and its residents,” Asor said.

The head of the IDF’s Personnel Directorate, Maj. Gen. Yaniv Asor, visits the family of slain soldier Noa Lazar on October 19, 2022 (IDF Spokesman)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid hailed the killing of Tamimi, and sent well wishes to a guard wounded in Wednesday’s attack, in a statement published by his office.

“We will not rest until we lay our hands on every terrorist who harms Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. We will act with an iron hand and without hesitation against terrorism,” Lapid said.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also praised the security guards who shot Tamimi dead. “Their vigilance, professionalism and determination prevented further harm to human life,” he said.

“We will capture all the terrorists and their senders, we will act wherever and whenever it is required,” Gantz added.

Alternative Prime Minister Naftali Bennett posted a photo of himself meeting with Lazar’s mother, saying, “What a strong young woman, beautiful and patriotic, that we lost.”

“May the memory of Noa be blessed and remain in our hearts. It’s good that the wicked terrorist has been eliminated. It’s just,” Bennett said.

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended the security guards who killed Tamimi.

“Only with a firm hand will we restore security to the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Security forces are seen at the scene of a shooting attack at the entrance of the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, near Jerusalem, October 19, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, who oversees the police, said the security guards who killed Tamimi “acted quickly and with determination.”

“They thwarted the continuation of the terrorist’s killing spree,” Barlev said. “We will continue to fight terror at all times and in all places.”

Police officials confirmed Tamimi was killed while carrying out the Wednesday evening attack, and said he killed Lazar, 18, and seriously injured a civilian guard on October 8 at a checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem.

After Tamimi’s attempted second attack, a security guard, 24, was taken by the Magen David Adom ambulance service to the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem with an injury in his hand. He was listed in light condition, the hospital said.

Security camera footage of Wednesday’s attack showed a lengthy exchange of gunfire between Tamimi and the security guards.

Tamimi, 22, fled the scene of the attack on Lazar earlier this month. He was thought by police to have been hiding in the Shuafat refugee camp since then.

Police on Tuesday morning arrested eight Palestinians, residents of the Shuafat refugee camp and the nearby West Bank town of Anata, suspected of aiding Tamimi in his escape.

The heavy police activity in Shuafat after the attack led to days of rioting in the refugee camp and other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

Wednesday’s shooting came at a time of rising violence in the West Bank, as Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly targeted military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.

Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and counterterror efforts in the West Bank since a spate of terror attacks against Israelis in the spring killed 19 people.

An Israeli woman was killed in a suspected attack last month, and another four soldiers have been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations.

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