Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Sunday night paid condolence visits to the relatives of Ari Fuld, an American Israeli man who was killed in a terror attack earlier in the day, shortly before his funeral.
Fuld, a 45-year-old father of four from the Efrat settlement, was stabbed to death shortly before noon on Sunday by a Palestinian teenager. Despite his wounds, Fuld chased and shot at his attacker before collapsing to the ground. He was rushed to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center in serious condition. After resuscitation efforts failed, doctors there pronounced him dead.
The terrorist, identified as Halil Yousef Ali Jabarin, aged 17, from the southern West Bank village of Yatta, was shot by Fuld and another armed civilian at the scene and taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in moderate condition with multiple gunshot wounds, hospital officials said.
“I’ve met the parents and wonderful brothers of this hero of Israel, Ari Fuld,” Netanyahu said in a tweet after the visit. “I embraced them in the name of the entire nation in this time of terrible grief. We are alive thanks to heroes like Ari. We will remember him forever.”
פגשתי הערב את הוריו ואחיו המופלאים של גיבור ישראל הנפלא ארי פולד ז״ל. חיבקתי אותם בשם כל עם ישראל בעת יגונם הנורא. אנו חיים בזכות גיבורים כמו ארי. נזכור אותו תמיד pic.twitter.com/jdHlzz14w2
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) September 16, 2018
Edelstein, a classmate of Fuld’s father Yonah, also spoke of Ari’s heroism.
“Before he is buried tonight, I went to embrace the parents and brothers of Ari Fuld, may his memory be for a blessing,” Edelstein said in a statement. “I was moved by the words of my classmate Rabbi Yonah Fuld, who spoke about his son with a glint in his eye. When you meet such a wonderful family, you understand where such heroes come from. May his memory be in our hearts always.”
לפני שהובא הלילה למנוחות, הגעתי הערב לחבק את הוריו ואחיו של ארי פולד ז״ל. התרגשתי לשמוע את חברי ללימודים הרב יונה פולד, אבא של ארי, מדבר בעיניים נוצצות על בנו הי״ד. כשפוגשים כזו משפחה נפלאה מבינים טוב יותר איך צומח כזה גיבור. יהי זכרו ברוך ונצור בליבנו תמיד. pic.twitter.com/E4MSv71aj5
— Yuli Edelstein ???????? יולי אדלשטיין (@YuliEdelstein) September 16, 2018
Fuld is survived by his wife and four children.
Lawmakers from across the political spectrum praised Fuld earlier on Sunday for his actions.
“With a stab wound in the back, he ran, drew his gun and fired before collapsing, just to make sure the terrorist would not continue to hurt others,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the national-religious Jewish Home party, wrote on his Twitter account.
“My deepest condolences to the family of Ari Fuld — may his memory be blessed — who showed incredible courage and who chased after the terrorist despite his injuries,” wrote Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova.
Fuld worked at Standing Together, a non-governmental organization that provides support to Israeli soldiers. He also described himself on his website as an “advocate for Israel, [who] speaks to communities throughout the globe.”
Fuld volunteered for military service in an IDF infantry brigade in a combat role, then served as a reservist. He was lightly injured in the Second Lebanon War.
He was a prominent member of the National Union party, including serving on its Central Committee. National Union is part of the Jewish Home faction in the Knesset. Ari’s brother Eitan is the spokesman for Jewish Home MK Betzalel Smotrich.
In a statement, the National Union party eulogized Fuld as a “lover of the land who fought for it, a man of truth, caring and kind. He advocated for the land of Israel with all his might, in Israel and around the world.”
He was mourned in an outpouring of social media tributes throughout the day, with friends and ideological opponents alike eulogizing the Israel advocate and former karate instructor as an unflinching champion of the Jewish state and fearless fighter to the end.
Security camera footage from the scene of the deadly attack showed the Palestinian terrorist, dressed in black, standing behind Fuld for nearly a full minute before striking.
The Gush Etzion Junction and nearby shopping area, which are used by both Israelis and Palestinians, have been the site of several deadly terror attacks in recent years.
Fuld’s funeral will take place at 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the Kfar Etzion settlement.