This morning, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a 13-year-old girl from Kiryat Arba, was stabbed to death in her bedroom by a Palestinian teen from Bani Na’im, a nearby village. Nasser Tarayrah snuck into the settlement before breaking into Ariel’s home and stabbing her. The first civilian security guard to arrive on the scene was also knifed, after which Tarayrah was shot and killed by other guards. Hundreds of mourners gathered today for the funeral procession to the Old Hebron Cemetery.
The international community roundly condemned the attack, as diplomats from Germany to the U.S. extended condolences to the family. In the words of the U.S. State Department:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the outrageous terrorist attack this morning in the West Bank where a 13-year-old girl, Hallel Ariel, was stabbed to death in her home. This brutal act of terrorism is simply unconscionable. We extend our deepest condolences to her family. We also understand another individual who was responding to the attack was wounded by the attacker. We extend our hopes for a quick and full recovery.
Tarayrah’s relative Yousef Walid Tarayrah was killed earlier this year after he attempted to run over Israeli soldiers near Kiryat Arba. In the last few months, Tarayrah had begun to write increasingly desperate and incendiary Facebook posts, publicly wishing for death and martyrdom. According to Times of Israel, Tarayrah’s mother praised him as a hero, saying, “My son died as a martyr defending Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa mosque.” His sister also referred to him as a martyr, saying, “May God judge the Jews, and may my brother be content with his portion in paradise.”
Jesse Bernstein is a former Intern at Tablet.