Hallel Yaffa Ariel and her bedroom after the attack
In less than two days, three brutal Palestinian terror attacks have shaken Israel – two of which were lethal. On Thursday morning, 17-year-old Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah broke into the Ariel family home in Kiryat Arba. He entered the bedroom of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, where she was still asleep, and repeatedly stabbed her. He was neutralized at the scene by security forces; Hallel succumbed to her wounds in the hospital.
The next day, a terrorist from the Tul Karem area stabbed and wounded two civilians in Netanya. He was neutralized.
That afternoon, as a family drove home for the Sabbath near Otniel, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on the car. The driver, a father, was killed, and three other passengers were wounded and evacuated to the hospital. In order to find the assailants, the IDF (Zahal) sent 2 additional infantry battalions to the Hebron area, and increased our intelligence activities.
In the past eight months, terrorists planned or carried out approximately 80 terror attacks in the Hebron area. In order to protect our civilians, we need to foil these plans before they can be put in action. The IDF (Zahal) is implementing a closure of the Hebron district area in order to stop potential terrorists from carrying out further shootings, stabbings, and bombings. This closure will not affect humanitarian and medical staff or vehicles.
We must not let the events of the past two days repeat themselves. Israeli children have the right to sleep safely and soundly in their own homes. Israeli families have the right to commute in peace.
These terror attacks are being driven by two factors – the last days of Ramadan, in which attacks have historically increased, and the perceived “success” of attacks that in turn inspire others to carry out more attacks, and to become terrorists themselves.
These two components are compounded by incitement on social media. The Facebook page of Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah displays poems that he wrote celebrating martyrdom, jihad, and attacking Jews, and after the attack, his page was full of friends and family congratulating and supporting his murder of an innocent child.
Palestinian officials have yet to condemn the attacks, adding fuel to the fires of incitement and encouraging more young Palestinians to engage in terror, as we saw today.
The IDF (Zahal) is working around the clock to ensure that the terrorists who shot an innocent man to death today are brought to justice, and to ensure that the people of Israel can go about their daily lives in safety and in peace.