US envoy mourns American-born terror victim Fuld, ‘the best of both countries’
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US envoy mourns American-born terror victim Fuld, ‘the best of both countries’

‘America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist,’ David Friedman tweets; ex-ambassador Shapiro slams ‘outrageous act of terrorism’

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during the 6th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism conference at the Jerusalem Convention Center, on March 19, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during the 6th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism conference at the Jerusalem Convention Center, on March 19, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

US Ambassador David Friedman eulogized Ari Fuld on Sunday, shortly after the dual American and Israeli national was killed in a stabbing attack in the Etzion  Bloc south of Jerusalem, as “a passionate defender of Israel and an American patriot” and “the best of both countries.”

Fuld, a 45-year-old American-Israeli father of four from the Efrat settlement, was stabbed in the back by a Palestinian terrorist shortly before noon on Sunday outside a shopping mall near Efrat, at the Gush Etzion Junction.

Despite his wounds, Fuld chased and shot his attacker before collapsing to the ground.

Fuld was rushed to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center in unstable condition. After resuscitation efforts failed, doctors pronounced his death.

File photo of Ari Fuld, father of four, and resident of Efrat. Fuld was a member of the emergency squad in Gush Etzion, pictured here at a celebratory event on October 31, 2017, carrying his rifle with. He was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in a stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion junction on September 16, 2018 (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

“America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. Ari Fuld was a passionate defender of Israel & an American patriot. He represented the best of both countries & will be deeply missed. May his family be comforted & his memory be blessed,” Friedman said in a tweet.

Friedman’s predecessor, former US envoy to Israel Dan Shapiro, also expressed his “deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Ari Fuld, murdered in Gush Etzion today.”

“The attack was an outrageous act of terrorism, which should be loudly condemned by all. May Ari’s memory be a blessing and a source of comfort to his family and community,” wrote Shapiro on Twitter.

The Trump administration’s peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt, offered his condolences as well.

“Words cannot express our feeling of loss as an American-Israeli, Ari Fuld, was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist,” Greenblatt tweeted. “In Ari’s last breaths, he heroically immobilized the terrorist, saving many other lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ari’s family & his loved ones.”

The assailant was identified as Halil Yousef Ali Jabarin, aged 17.5, from the southern West Bank village of Yatta.

According to police, the terrorist was shot by Fuld and another armed civilian at the scene. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in moderate condition with multiple gunshot wounds, hospital officials said.

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.”

Medics arrive on the scene after an Israeli man was stabbed in a terrorist attack at a shopping mall next to the Gush Etzion Junction on September 16, 2018. (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

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 also a prominent member of the National Union party, and served 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.”

17-year-old Khalil Jabarin, who fatally stabbed Israeli Ari Fuld in a West Bank terror attack on September 16, 2018 (Screenshot/Twitter)

Fuld was well known for his social media posts defending Israel and its military. He was scheduled to leave in the coming weeks on a speaking tour in the United States. In addition, he reportedly was about to launch a new Israel advocacy website in English.

JTA contributed to this report.

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