A Palestinian fatally stabbed an Israeli-American man near the entrance to a mall in the occupied West Bank on Sunday before being shot and wounded at the end of a brief foot chase, officials said.
The man killed, Ari Fuld, was a right-wing activist who has appeared regularly on television, but a police spokesman said there was no indication he was targeted for that reason.
Fuld, 45, was a father of four who lived in the Israeli settlement of Efrat, near the mall where he was stabbed.
The Palestinian attacker was 17-year-old Khalil Jabareen, from the village of Yatta in the southern West Bank, according to Palestinian security sources.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Jabareen was moderately wounded.
The incident took place at the Gush Etzion Junction south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, according to Israel’s military, which provided the details of the stabbing.
Surveillance footage shared on news sites and social media showed the assailant approaching an older man near the mall entrance and stabbing him several times.
He is then pursued by civilians and shot nearby.
There is regular friction between Israelis and Palestinians at the junction, which lies near a major Israeli settlement bloc and has been the site of numerous lone-wolf Palestinian attacks.
Vocal defender of Israel
Fuld created a Facebook page called “Israel Defense Page” and was a hardline defender of Israel in his television appearances.
During last year’s march by right-wing Israelis through east Jerusalem’s Old City to commemorate 50 years since Israel seized control of it in the Six-Day War, Fuld said it was a “miraculous day” for Jews.
“Today we are celebrating the unification of Jerusalem,” he said.
US ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Twitter that “America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist.”
“Ari Fuld was a passionate defender of Israel & an American patriot.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “in the name of every citizen of Israel, I send my condolences to the family of Ari Fuld, who was murdered today in a terrorist attack”.
“He was an advocate for Israel who fought to spread the truth about Israel.”
A wave of Palestinian knife attacks against Israelis broke out in 2015, but they have since become sporadic.
On September 3, a Palestinian wielding a knife approached an Israeli military checkpoint near the hardline Kiryat Arba settlement in the Hebron area and was shot dead by soldiers, according to the army.
In a stabbing attack on July 26 in the West Bank settlement of Adam, one Israeli was killed and two wounded. The 17-year-old Palestinian attacker was shot dead.
There are concerns that tensions between Israelis and Palestinians will increase this month as Jews celebrate their high holidays and pay more visits to holy sites.
In previous years, increased Jewish visits to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City — what Jews call the Temple Mount — have led to such tensions.
Israel annexed east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.
While protests and clashes have continued at varying levels along the blockaded Gaza Strip border since March 30, the West Bank has remained relatively calm.
In the Gaza unrest, at least 179 Palestinians have been killed since March 30. One Israeli soldier has been killed in the Gaza border area since then.
Israel accuses Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, of seeking to use the protests to carry out attacks or infiltrations.
It says its actions are necessary to defend the border.
Palestinians and rights groups say protesters have been shot while posing little threat.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.