US ambassador makes rare visit to settlement, after terror attack
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US ambassador makes rare visit to settlement, after terror attack

David Friedman pays condolence call at home of Yotam Ovadia in community of Adam, near Jerusalem

US Ambassador David Friedman pays a condolence visit to the family of Yotam Ovadia who was killed in a terror attack in the West Bank Settlement of Adam, July 30, 2018.  (Miri Tzahi/Yesha Council)
US Ambassador David Friedman pays a condolence visit to the family of Yotam Ovadia who was killed in a terror attack in the West Bank Settlement of Adam, July 30, 2018. (Miri Tzahi/Yesha Council)

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman made a condolence visit Monday to the West Bank home of an Israeli man who was stabbed to death in a terror attack last week.

Friedman traveled to the Adam settlement north of Jerusalem where he met with the family of 31-year-old Yotam Ovadia, who was killed in the Thursday attack by a Palestinian who had sneaked into the settlement.

Friedman met with Ovadia’s wife while she observed the traditional Jewish week of mourning for close relatives, known as shiva.

“I was heartbroken to see the tragic impact of the murder of Yotam Ovadia — a young mother left alone to care for two small children, parents grieving for their only son. Words are insufficient to describe the evil and barbarity of the terrorist act,” he said after leaving the home.

Ovadia was a father to a 2-year-old and a 7-month-old.

While US officials rarely visit settlements, Friedman has done so in the past and is not the first American ambassador to do so.

A spokesperson for the US embassy said her office would not comment on the ambassador’s schedule.

In January, Friedman paid a condolence visit at the home of Likud MK Yehudah Glick in the settlement of Otniel as the lawmaker mourned the passing of his wife, Yafi.

Yafi Glick was considered a terror victim after she passed away due to complications she suffered following an assassination attempt on her husband in 2014.

Yotam Ovadia, who was killed in a terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Adam on July 26, 2018 Courtesy)

Unlike previous US envoys, Friedman had been known as a strong supporter of Israeli settlements before he took office, serving as president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, an organization that supports the large West Bank settlement near Ramallah.

That support has continued since his appointment as ambassador. In September, Friedman said that settlements “are part of Israel.”

Friedman’s predecessor Dan Shapiro paid condolence visits at the homes of grieving lawmakers Avigdor Liberman and Yuli Edelstein in the settlements Nokdim and Neve Daniel, respectively.

Immediately following the Thursday attack in Adam, US special envoy Jason Greenblatt slammed the PA for failing to condemn the killing.

According to Israeli authorities, Palestinian suspect Mohammad Tareq Yousef climbed over the security fence of the West Bank settlement some time before 9 p.m. Thursday. He walked deeper into the settlement, crossing a playground area, where he encountered Ovadia, and stabbed him repeatedly in the upper torso.

A second resident, 58, was also stabbed after arriving on the scene. He was rushed to a hospital in serious condition but his status improved in the days following the attack and he was released to his home on Sunday.

A third resident, 41, had just left his home when he heard the disturbance unfolding. Yusef approached him as well and managed to stab him once before the Adam resident pulled out a gun and shot him dead. The 41-year-old Israeli was lightly injured in the encounter, but was released from the hospital shortly after receiving treatment.

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