Amb. David Friedman calls out ‘Palestinian leaders’ for praising stabbing attack


JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman accused Palestinian leaders of praising a terror attack that left a father of four dead.

David Friedman did not say what Palestinian leaders he was referring to in the tweet on Tuesday morning.

“20 years ago I gave an ambulance to Har Bracha hoping it would be used to deliver healthy babies. Instead, a man from Har Bracha was just murdered by a terrorist, leaving behind a wife and four children. Palestinian “leaders” have praised the killer. Praying for the BenGal family,” the tweet said.

Several other countries’ ambassadors to Israel also condemned the attack on Twitter.


Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal, 29, of the West Bank settlement of Har Bracha, was stabbed multiple times on his upper body at a bus stop near the entrance to Ariel by a Palestinian assailant on Monday afternoon. He died on the way to the hospital, despite resuscitation efforts.

The attacker, Ais Abed El-Hakim, 19, is an Israeli citizen and resident of Jaffa, the son of an Israeli mother from Haifa and a Palestinian father from Nablus. He remains at large as of Tuesday afternoon. His estranged mother called on him to turn himself in, in a statement to Israeli media.

Hundreds attended Ben Gal’s funeral and burial at the Har Bracha settlement. “Itamar, my dear, we will continue settling the land and raising our family,” his wife Miriam said during her eulogy. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein also eulogized the teacher and father.

Following his nomination to serve as ambassador to Israel, Friedman came under fire for his support of West Bank settlements. Prior to taking up his ambassador position, Friedman served as president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, which raises money for a large West Bank settlement.