Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel on Friday paid a condolence visit to the family of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, the 13-year-old girl murdered Thursday morning by a Palestinian terrorist as she slept in her home in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba.
“We will strengthen this place,” Netanyahu told the grieving family as he vowed that terrorism would not drive Israelis out of their homes. “We will make it stronger. I will sit with the defense minister and we will decide how to strengthen the community.”
Speaking at the end of the visit, Netanyahu expressed horror at the sight of the blood-stained room in which the girl was killed, and vowed that terrorism would not drive Israelis out of their homes.
“To see Hallel’s room, to see the blood stains next to her bed and the books and clothes of a small child, this is shocking,” Netanyahu said. “It reminds us again who we are facing. They want to uproot what has been planted and we will deepen the roots. They will not make us leave here. I was impressed by this splendid family. Their spirit will not break and neither will ours. We will deepen the roots.”
Rina Ariel, the bereaved mother, told Netanyahu that she feared for the “national home” — the entire enterprise of Jewish statehood, and urged that “the Temple Mount should be opened to Jews,” according to a Ynet report.
Told that a group of Palestinian women wanted to pay a condolence call, she urged instead that they visit Palestinian schools, to challenge the education “of hatred” that she said had prompted her daughter’s killer.
She said that while Jews use their solemn fast days to seek forgiveness from the Lord, “what do Arabs do on their fast days? They murder us. Murder and murder and murder,” according to the Ynet report.
“We voted for you,” Rina Ariel told the prime minister. “We support you.” But, she said, the current reality had to change. “We can’t have a situation,” she said, “in which children are asking their parents…, when are we going to be murdered?”
The 13-year-old girl died after being stabbed repeatedly by 17-year-old Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, who entered her bedroom in the settlement Thursday morning. A 31-year-old civilian security guard who rushed to the scene suffered multiple stab wounds and shooting injuries in the attack. According to initial reports, he was accidentally shot by other guards in an effort to neutralize the terrorist.
Ariel was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem unconscious, not breathing and in critical condition, where doctors said they were unable to save her. She was laid to rest Thursday evening in the Old Cemetery in Hebron.
Netanyahu on Thursday published a video in which he decried the murder of a child and blasted “those who incite for such murder.”
“You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. You don’t slit a little girl’s throat to protest a policy you don’t like,” he said. “You do this because you’ve been brainwashed. You’ve been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn’t human.”