Palestinian Murders Israeli Teen

Ad Feedback - BAT AYIN, Israel - An ax-wielding Palestinian killed an Israeli teen Thursday and seriously injured a seven-year-old child in the community of Bat Ayin in Gush Etzion.

Magen David Adom (Israel's national emergency rescue service) paramedics tried to resuscitate Shlomo Nativ, 13, but he died of his injuries.

Nativ, who was bludgeoned to death, was buried in Kfar Ezion cemetary at 5:00 p.m.

The younger child, Yair Gamliel, who suffered a fractured skull, was transported to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, where doctors were able to stabilize him, though he may require surgery.

The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) began searching for the terrorist, who had attacked passersby as he fled the scene.

"We will do our utmost to find him and put him where he belongs," Etzion Brigade Deputy Commander Lt.-Colonel Guy Oshrey told Army Radio.

"We have a lead, and according to our assessment, he will be apprehended soon," he said.

Roadblocks were set up, and security forces surrounded a home in the nearby Arab village of Khirbet Safa where the perpetrator was thought to be hiding.

"I saw a boy, aged seven or eight, running past my house," one eyewitness told Israel's Channel 10 news.

"Then I saw a 20-year-old man running after him. I approached him, and he turned and tried to attack me with the axe," he said.

"I heard a little later that somebody tried to shoot him, but missed. I saw murder in his eyes," he said.

"I didn't see what happened before I got outside, but I saw the wounded boy screaming, yelling that he was hurt," the neighbor said.

The community does not have a security fence surrounding it, and police do not yet know whether the attacker had an accomplice or was working alone.

Initially, police suspected that the attacker may have worked in the community, but the town's mayor said no Arab workers are employed there. 

"The terrorist came in with an axe....with the intention of murdering and terrorizing," Mayor Shaul Goldstein said.

Hamas Approval

Meanwhile, Hamas condoned the attack as legitimate "resistance" to the "occupation."

"This attack was committed in the framework of the resistance," Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said. "This [murder] is a reaction to the continuing occupation and the continued building of settlements," he said.

"This is a natural reaction, especially against the backdrop of Israeli attacks," the Hamas spokesman said.

"We are a people occupied, and it is our right to defend ourselves and to act in every way and with every means at our disposal in order to defend ourselves," he said.

Stepped-up Terror Attacks

Israeli Arabs have stepped up attacks in the past several months.

Two weeks ago, terrorists planted a massive bomb at a mall in the northern port city of Haifa. Following a relatively small explosion in the parking lot, shoppers summoned security personnel, who in turn contacted the police.

The mall was evacuated and sappers detonated the bomb in controlled explosions.

Last month, two Israeli police officers were shot and killed after stopping to help Arabs staging a flat tire near the Israeli community of Massua in the Jordan Valley.

A couple of months ago, Arab gunmen shot an Israeli driver at point-blank range near Kochav Hashahar, a small community on the eastern ridge of the Judean Hills overlooking the Jordan Valley about 18 miles north of downtown Jerusalem.

The victim was airlifted to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital and eventually recovered from the attack.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, YNet news

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