Khalil Jabarin, 17, fatally stabbed Ari Fuld—a dual Israeli-American citizen and resident of Efrat—outside a shopping mall at the Gush Etzion Junction on Sunday. (Screenshot/Twitter)

Palestinian Killer’s Mother Reported Sunday Attack Shortly Before Incident Took Place

Israeli army post was informed of her son’s intention to commit an attack in Israel

On Sunday, a Palestinian woman approached the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to report her son’s intention to commit an attack in Israel, only three minutes before the incident took place in Gush Etzion, a bloc of Israeli communities in the West Bank, just south of the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

Ari Fuld, a dual Israeli-American citizen and resident of Efrat, the principle community of the group, was critically injured and died later that night. He was stabbed in the back by 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin, a Palestinian youth from Yatta, a village in the southern part of Hebron. Jabarin sustained moderate injuries and was arrested.

When contacted by The Media Line, the IDF refused to comment on the incident. The Israeli army stated publicly that Israeli security forces planned to arrest members of the attacker’s family to investigate whether they had information about Jabarin’s plans prior to the attack. If and when family members report such information, determines the punitive actions to be taken by the IDF, one of which is demolition of the family’s home.

A senior Israeli official, who asked that his name be withheld, informed The Media Line that the mother of the attacker went to the Israeli military checkpoint of Beitar, bordering on the Gush Etzion region and close to the city of Bethlehem, where she informed soldiers just minutes before the attack that her son had threatened to kill an Israeli.

“The soldiers didn’t have any kind of information in terms of location or time [of the attack]; they couldn’t stop it.” The source added, “Currently the IDF is investigating the incident. Later, the Israeli intelligence services will handle it.”

Israeli media outlets reported that the parents of Jabarin “in advance had warned the Palestinian Authority (PA) of their son’s intention.” The Israeli media outlet The Times of Israel quoted “a senior PA official based in the southern West Bank” as saying that “Jabarin’s father had warned the PA security forces of his son’s disappearance on Sunday after a row over his going to school.”

According to the official, who asked not to be named, “there was a fight between the father and his son that morning… the father wanted his son to go to school, but he refused and eventually the father beat him. The security forces tried to find him, but were unable to do so before the attack.”

Other Israeli media sources reported that the grandfather of the attacker, who is a headmaster of a public school in Yatta village, confirmed that the family informed the PA about the disappearance of the young man and told officers about their serious concern that Jabarin would carry out an attack. “The family was shocked by the attack,” he said, describing Jabarin as “a quiet, educated, respectful, conscientious boy.”

Israel’s Channel 10 television quoted Palestinian security sources as saying that “the family informed members of the Preventive Security Service in the West Bank that Jabarin left the house after he hinted to his family that he intended to carry out an operation at one of the entrances to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.”

The Media Line contacted the spokesperson of the Palestinian Security Forces, Adnan al-Damiri, who denied that the Palestinian side was officially informed of the attack. “I checked with Palestinian Intelligence, Preventive Security and other security bodies,” he said. “None of them was informed about the attack.”

Gonen Ben-Yitzhak, a former Mossad agent, opined to The Media Line that the mother likely knew what the Israeli response to a terrorist attack would be. “Israel has a chance to emphasize the fact that whomever commits an attack will be punished, but those who try to stop it will benefit. I hope that the defense leadership will be wise enough to understand this,” regardless of “the very sensitive situation [of a mother and her son].”

Gad Shimron, an Israeli political analyst, believes that Palestinians who carry out attacks against Israelis are being used by the PA to implement personal agendas. “Those attackers are not patriotic, but have an unhappy life for sure. They are trying to escape that sad reality they live in.”

Shimron added that Palestinians are motivated to commit crimes in Israel for the national titles of “hero” and “freedom fighter” bestowed on them after an attack, in addition to a salary that they and their families receive from the PA. “The Israeli policy of cutting the PA tax money to force them not to reward these attackers was wise,” he said.

Shimron pointed to the issue of Israeli terrorists who commit crimes against Palestinians, but “our government doesn’t reward them with a salary; it sends them straight to prison, which is the right thing to do.”

Commenting on the IDF policy of destroying the homes of terrorists, Shimron told The Media Line, “The aim of the policy is to have Palestinian parents understand the gravity of such behavior.”

Turning to Sunday’s attack, he concluded: “I believe the mother didn’t want her house and family to be destroyed… her house shouldn’t get destroyed as she did the right thing by informing Israeli authorities.”

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