West Bank settlement terror attack victim named as Yotam Ovadia
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Father of two to be buried Friday in Jerusalem

West Bank settlement terror attack victim named as Yotam Ovadia

Clashes break out as IDF enters attacker’s village, prepares to demolish house; 150 protesters throw rocks and Molotov cocktails; security at settlements to be increased

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

The Israeli man stabbed to death in a terror attack in a West Bank settlement on Thursday night was named Friday morning as 31-year-old Yotam Ovadia.

His funeral will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem.

Ovadia was father to a 2-year-old child and a 7-month-old baby. The Brinks security company announced on its Facebook page that he worked for it as a technician.

Overnight, Israeli security forces entered attacker Mohammad Tareq Yousef’s village of Kobar. The IDF said that clashes broke out after around 150 Palestinian demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli soldiers, as well as burning tires. There were no reports of injuries.

Israeli security forces’ vehicles deploy during clashes in the village of Kobar, west of Ramallah in the West Bank on July 27, 2018 (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

The IDF said it interrogated members of Yousef’s family and began preparing his home for future demolition. Israel says the practice of demolishing terrorists’ homes is an effective means of deterring future attacks, though it has been criticized as a form of collective punishment.

Four Palestinians were taken in for questioning.

The army added that in light of Thursday’s attack, it would be increasing security at settlements.

IDF soldiers carry out operations after an Israeli man was stabbed to death in the West Bank settlement of Adam on June 27, 2018 (IDF Spokesman’s Unit)

According to Israeli authorities, Yousef climbed over the security fence of the West Bank settlement of Adam sometime 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 it was upgraded to moderate after doctors managed to stabilize him.

IDF officers near the scene of a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Adam, July 26, 2018 (IDF spokesperson)

A third resident, Assaf Raviv, 41, went outside to investigate the disturbance and, realizing that an attack was occurring, shot the Palestinian terrorist three times, killing him.

He was stabbed and lightly injured during the incident, and on Friday morning it was announced he had been released from hospital.

Mohammad Tareq Yousef, 17, who killed an Israeli man and injured two others in a terrorist attack at the settlement of Adam outside Jerusalem on July 26, 2018, and was shot dead. (via twitter)

The settlement committee on Friday released a statement praising Raviv’s bravery.

“The event was unbearable but could have been much more costly had it not been for the heroism of Assaf Raviv, who despite his injury managed to overcome the terrorist, to repel him and to shoot him, thus ending his murderous campaign,” said Babar Vanunu, head of the committee.

The Israeli military said it would bolster troop presence in the West Bank.

An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said late Thursday it was sending two more brigades to the West Bank following the deadly attack in Adam. The move comes as Israel has raised its military alert level in the Golan and along the Gaza border amid flareups there.

The army said troops would be operating in Palestinian villages, without offering details.

The announcement came as the military continued to pursue the possibility that an accomplice in the stabbing attack remained on the loose. Eyewitnesses in Adam reported seeing a suspicious vehicle leaving the settlement shortly after the attack.

Thursday’s attack broke months of relative calm in the West Bank, which has seen only sporadic clashes between Palestinians and troops, and a marked decrease in terror attacks.

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Dahan told Israeli radio station Reshet Bet that the authorities were working to prevent a series of attacks from taking place.

“We are seeing the attempts to start a wave [of terror attacks] but they are not succeeding. In the end, the security establishment failed. We do everything we can to prevent it, but there’s no such thing as 100% security.”

The last stabbing attack in a West Bank settlement was in April 2018, when a Palestinian tried to stab an Israeli with a screwdriver near a gas station in an industrial area connected to the Maale Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem.

Kobar, north of Ramallah and some 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Adam, was also home to Omar al-Abed, who carried out a similar attack in the settlement of Halamish in July 2017 in which three Israelis were killed.

The IDF said it was investigating a possible link between them, though the mayor of Kobar said he did not know of the two being connected.

Authorities are investigating reports that Yousef posted about his intentions on Facebook ahead of the attack, condemning Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank, and declaring that “the time has come for a great revolt.”

A Shin Bet investigation will likely focus on whether Yousef had any help in planning or carrying out the attack, and whether others knew about his plot.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli soldiers ,while an army bulldozer closes the main road with dirt during their operation to search and measure the family house of Omar al-Abed, 20, July 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

The IDF often raids suspects homes following attacks and sometimes arrests relatives for questioning. It also begins the process of preparing the home for demolition, as part of a controversial measure meant to deter attacks.

Fierce clashes also broke out in Kobar last year during arrest raids following the Halamish attack.

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