Mother of murdered yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz calls for end to terrorist’s reward


(JTA) — The mother of American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz, who was shot to death by a Palestinian assailant in the West Bank, told a United Nations forum that his murderer should not be rewarded.

Ruth Schwartz said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority pays a monthly stipend to Mohammed Abed Odeh Harub, who was sentenced by an Israeli court to four life sentences for the November 2015 attack.

Ezra Schwartz, 18, from Sharon, Massachusetts, was on a gap year studying at a yeshiva in Israel. He was to start business school at Rutgers University in New Jersey in the fall of 2016.

He was killed when Harub opened fire near Alon Shvut in the Etzion bloc on a minivan full of students and teachers from Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh who were volunteering to clear a nearby park.


“Ezra’s murder broke our family; we will never be the same without him,” Ruth Schwartz told the special U.N. forum on the glorification of terrorism, Ynet reported. The forum was organized by Israel’s mission to the United Nations and the StandWithUs Israel advocacy organization.

“My son is the victim of the worst crime,” Schwartz said. “He was brutally taken from his family and friends forever. He will never be able to have fun or make someone smile, go to college, get married, have children or do anything in this world again. I will never again get to hug him or tell him that I love him. Instead, I get to visit him at the cemetery.”

She said the payments, which add up to thousands of dollars a month, have to stop.

“My son’s killer and his family should not be compensated for murdering innocent people. It is just another way to glorify and encourage terrorism. It’s offensive and wrong,” she said.

Israel’s U.N. envoy, Danny Danon, presented data on the P.A.’s payments to terrorists at the U.N. Security Council two weeks ago.

Danon said that the Palestinian Authority paid out nearly $130 million to terrorists in prisons in Israel and another $175 million to the families of terrorists killed during their attacks, who are recognized as martyrs.