Israel will demolish the house of the terrorist who on Tuesday morning killed three Israelis and injured a fourth at the Har Adar settlement northwest of Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced several hours after the incident.
He blamed the terror attack on “systematic incitement” and called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn it.
“This has been a difficult morning; three Israelis were murdered by a depraved individual,” Netanyahu told his ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
“While we are still investigating the event and its implications, we can say some things with certainty even now. One: the home of the terrorist will be demolished. Two: the IDF has already cordoned off the village. Three: all work permits for members of the terrorist’s extended family are hereby revoked.”
The terrorist, Nimer Mahmoud Ahmed Jamal, a 37-year-old father of four, arrived at the rear entrance of the Har Adar settlement 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. The terrorist had a permit to work in Har Adar and had been employed there for several years.
A preliminary investigation carried out by the Shin Bet security agency indicated that he had “significant personal and family problems, including those regarding family violence.” His wife had fled to Jordan weeks ago, leaving him with their four children.
“This murderous attack is the result of, among other things, systematic incitement by the Palestinian Authority and other elements and I expect Abu Mazen [Abbas] to condemn it and not attempt to justify it,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s security forces will continue to act against the incitement and terror, the prime minister vowed. “And we will, of course, conclude the investigation of the incident and discuss together the next steps.”
Minutes after Netanyahu spoke, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov condemned the attack and urged others to do the same.
“It is deplorable that Hamas and others continue to glorify such attacks, which undermine the possibility of a peaceful future for both Palestinians and Israelis. I urge all to condemn violence and stand up to terror,” he said in a statement.
Following the attack, the Hamas terror group issued a statement of commendation and said, “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.”
Great Britain’s ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, was the first foreign official to denounce the attack, saying there was could be “no possible excuse” for terrorism.
We condemn today's horrific attack. Our thoughts are with families of victims. No possible excuse for terrorism anywhere.
— David Quarrey (@DavidQuarrey) September 26, 2017
The Red Cross’s local branch also condemned the incident: “We deplore today’s loss of life outside of Jerusalem. Civilians must be entitled to a life free of fear, insecurity and uncertainty,” it wrote on its Twitter account.
We deplore today's loss of life outside of Jerusalem. Civilians must be entitled to a life free of fear, insecurity and uncertainty.
— ICRC in Israel & OT (@ICRC_ilot) September 26, 2017
Later on Tuesday, the ambassadors of Canada, France and the US also issued condemnations. “Once again, Israelis confront the cruel and evil brutality of unprovoked terrorism. We pray for the victims at Har Adar and their families,” US envoy to Israel David Friedman, wrote on his Twitter account.
Once again, Israelis confront the cruel and evil brutality of unprovoked terrorism. We pray for the victims at Har Adar and their families.
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) September 26, 2017
Several Israeli politicians blamed Palestinian incitement, including Abbas’s speech last week at the UN General Assembly in New York, for the attack, and called for restrictions on the Palestinians in the West Bank.
“Mahmoud Abbas incites against Israel in the United Nations and a Palestinian terrorist kills three Israelis and wounds one,” said Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz. “The fact that the terrorist exploited the entry of Palestinian workers into Israel in order to carry out an attack will have serious implications for the ability to employ Palestinians and ease their conditions of passage.”
The security of its citizens remains the government’s supreme consideration, “and is above any other consideration of improving and easing the lives of the Palestinians,” Katz added.