Scene of the bus stop where the attack happened as Ben-Gal waited for his bus. (Jerusalem Post)
Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, 29, father of four, was on his way to his nephew’s brit mila at around 2:30 Monday afternoon, standing on the sidewalk outside the Ariel settlement a short distance away from a bus stop, a bag at his feet and a jacket over his white, buttoned-down shirt.
He didn’t seem to notice 19-year-old Abed al-Karim Adel Asi, an Israeli-Arab, who got out of a yellow mini-van on the other side of the heavily trafficked road with a knapsack slung over his shoulder.
Nor did Ben-Gal see Asi when he stood on the curb, pulled out a knife before crossing the highway, ran the last few steps toward Gal, and then suddenly, stabbed him in the chest.
Although mortally wounded, Ben-Gal ran across the street, as did the terrorist. Ben-Gal banged on the closed door of a bus that stood by the curb, before fainting.
An IDF officer driving by saw the stabbing attack and hit the assailant with his car.
The assailant was still able to flee the scene with the help of a vehicle that had been waiting for him.
But as the assailant fled he dropped the knife and his bag with his identity card inside, identifying him as living in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area. His mother is an Israeli-Arab from Haifa and his father is Palestinian from Nablus, which is close to Ariel.
The IDF said it was searching for the terrorist, but as of press time had still not captured the suspect.
“The Palestinian leadership must be held accountable for today’s horrific murder in Israel,” Danon said. “This terror attack is the direct result of incitement and payments to terrorists by the Palestinian Authority. Instead of inviting Mahmoud Abbas to address the Security Council to disseminate lies and hate, the council should unequivocally condemn this attack and demand that he stop paying stipends to terrorists.”
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