On Friday I mentioned briefly the brutal murder of Yotam Ovadia in the settlement of Adam by a 17 year old terrorist. First we have a chilling description of the killing:
The father of Yotam Ovadia, who was killed in a stabbing attack in the central West Bank settlement of Adam, sat on a stoop outside of his home Friday morning in a daze.
Friends stopped by to console 66-year-old Avraham Ovadia, but he didn’t seem focused enough to respond to any of them. The lit cigarette wedged between his fingers burn down, unsmoked.
“He’s in complete shock,” said Avraham’s brother Yaakov. “His only son. He lost his only son.”
Yaakov said that his brother had lost both his parents and three siblings in recent years.
“After he got the terrible news last night that his son didn’t make it, he told me, ‘I thought it was supposed to be me who was next.’”
Yotam’s uncle recalled how his nephew would stop by his parents’ home every day after work before entering his own house down the street.
The 31-year-old had been on his way to their house when he was attacked.
“Yotam was supposed to pick up ingredients for a romantic dinner he had prepared for his wife in honor of Tu B’av,” his uncle said, referring to the Jewish Valentine’s Day.
The deadly incident took place at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday evening.
According to authorities, Mohammad Tareq Yousef, 17, from the village of Kobar near Ramallah further north in the West Bank, climbed over the settlement’s security fence and walked deeper into the settlement, crossing a playground area. Reaching a quiet residential street on the edge of the community, Yousef saw 31-year-old Yotam Ovadia and stabbed him repeatedly in the upper torso.
Daniel Nadav, an across the street neighbor, heard the screams and left his house to find the source of the commotion. Coming down from the steps of his home, he saw Ovadia covered in blood, collapsing to the ground.
As he recalled the experience for The Times of Israel, Nadav pointed to the blood-stained spot on the street where his neighbor had fallen.
At this point, the terrorist saw that he had a new target and started moving toward me,” Nadav recalled.
The Adam resident said he gave Yousef a kick to the chest that threw the attacker several feet backward.
“The terrorist did the math and realized he’d have better luck with someone else,” Nadav said.
As Yousef turned around and spotted another resident half a block away, Nadav’s daughter called the police hysterically to report what she had seen from the family’s window.
During that time, Yousef stabbed a second victim in the upper body. The 58-year-old was rushed to a hospital in serious condition. He was upgraded to moderate after doctors managed to stabilize him later that evening.
Neighbor Asaf Reviv had left his house to put a number of belongings inside of his car when he heard the shouts of the first two stabbings as well as Yousef’s skirmish with Nadav.
“At first I thought it was some sort of fight that had broken out,” the 41-year-old father-of-three said Friday.
“Then a teenager started approaching me. I asked him what had happened, but he didn’t respond,” Reviv said. “When I saw all the blood all over his shirt, I understood.”
But before he could react, Yousef had already drawn the knife back out from under his clothes and stabbed Reviv once in the soldier.
“Luckily I had a gun in my bag with me at the time. I cocked my weapon and fired once at his upper body,” the 41-year-old recalled.
The bullet pierced the terrorist’s shoulder from roughly ten feet away, but Yousef continued to advance toward Reviv. The Adam resident responded with three more bullets that killed the 17-year-old assailant.
Reviv was transferred to the hospital for treatment of his shoulder wound, and was released later Thursday night.
May Yotam Ovadia’s memory be for a blessing. ה’ יקום דמו
At Yotam’s funeral Israeli parliamentarians blamed the Palestinian Authority for the terror attack:
“To those who think that the Palestinian Authority is part of the solution, it is not! It is the problem!” shouted deputy defense minister Eli Ben Dahan. The Jewish Home lawmaker criticized the PA’s policy of payments to security prisoners and accused the PA of inciting Palestinian children in its schools.
“Responsibility lies with the Palestinian Authority. Those who teach hatred will pay a price,” warned Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.
“The lowly terrorist will not achieve his goal. We will continue building on our land,” the minister told the crowd of hundreds at Ovadia’s funeral in Jerusalem. He vowed to expand West Bank settlements in response to the attack.
Kobar, north of Ramallah and some 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Adam, was also home to Omar al-Abed, who carried out a similar attack in the settlement of Halamish in July 2017 in which three Israelis were killed.
The IDF said it was investigating a possible link between them, though the mayor of Kobar said he did not know of the two being connected.
Authorities were investigating reports that Yousef posted about his intentions on Facebook ahead of the attack, condemning Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank, and declaring that “the time has come for a great revolt.”
The MKs were absolutely correct in laying the blame for the murder on the PA. Michael Dickson of StandWithUs writes in the Times of Israel about the 17 year old terrorist:
In a normal society, the fact that the terrorist who perpetrated a frenzied stabbing attack was only 17 would be shocking. Climbing over a fence protecting the Israeli community of Adam, a teenage jihadi named Mohammad Tareq Yousef plunged his knife into multiple victims, leaving behind a bloody trail before one of those injured managed to stop and kill him. His brutal attack left a beautiful young family fatherless. But in Palestinian society, a teenage terrorist is not something that is especially shocking. On the contrary, extremism is deliberately saturated into Palestinian Authority education, popular culture and media. While kids in most countries dream of becoming famous sports personalities, music stars, or YouTubers, young Palestinians are indoctrinated to aspire to become “martyrs.”
It brings to mind the murder of Eden Attias, an Israeli 19-year-old young man, murdered by a 16-year-old Palestinian. Standing behind Eden’s teenage murderer who, seeing his victim sleeping on the bus they both rode on, stabbed him repeatedly, was the apparatus of the Palestinian Authority. From cradle to grave, indoctrination against Israelis and Jews is centrally institutionalized by the Palestinian leadership. The propaganda spans genres, from formal education to media and the internet, from official speeches, to provisions for youth to sports and cultural activities.
It also brings to mind the teenage murderer of Dafna Meir in Otniel, repeatedly stabbed in her home in front of her children; and the teenage murderer of 13 year old Hallel Ariel who stabbed her while she slept in her bed in Kiryat Arba.
What motivates teenagers from seemingly normal homes to turn into brutal murderers who slash and kill Israeli civilians simply residing, even sleeping, inside their own homes?
The answer of course is the vicious, poisonous incitement that is drip-fed to them from birth, through the entire Palestinian educational system, and through their TV programs and culture. Michael Dickson lists and describes some of these vile sources as his article continues:
A Palestinian can be born into this world at the “Alshaheed (Martyr) Thabet Thabet” hospital in Tulkarm, a hospital named for the leader of the violent Palestinian Tanzim group. …
Official Palestinian Authority newspapers often cover wild accusations of Israelis who allegedly harvest organs or conduct medical experiments on Palestinians — claims aimed to dehumanize Israel and Israelis. Indeed, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was recently pictured — while in hospital — with a newspaper featuring one such gross image which would not have seemed out of place in Der Sturmer:
Since Israel-inciting hatred in official Palestinian textbooks has been well-documented (you can read a report on them here), we can only assume that the terrorist was force-fed pride in terrorism as part of this educational school diet. And once high school is over, radicalization continues apace at Palestinian universities, where, like in the allegedly-moderate Al Quds University, radical anti-Israel rallies are held. One of Al Quds founding trustees is Saeb Erekat, the supposed “peace negotiator”, known for his extreme rhetoric when demonizing Israel.
The latest Palestinian teenage terrorist would have been around 5 or 6 when Hamas TV used Mickey Mouse to radicalize children. That’s the same age as the girl in this TV program “Tomorrow’s Pioneers,” who preaches Palestinian supremacy while “Mickey” gestures shooting an AK-47.
These examples are the tip of the iceberg. State-funded anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-Western propaganda is, unfortunately, nothing new in the Middle East. Although I have focused on how the Palestinian leadership is poisoning hearts and minds daily, we unfortunately see the same tools and messages used in many parts of the Arab and Muslim world, as well as Iran. This incitement is taking place not just under the radical leadership of Hamas, but also in the Palestinian Authority, under the leadership of President Abbas who has been touted by some as a legitimate peace partner for Israel. All countries that provide finances to the Palestinian Authority should be demanding: Enough! No more funding until this toxic, dangerous form of education stops.
Jews are understandably sensitive to anti-Semitic propaganda because we know where it can and will lead. The Nazi dictatorship had 12 years to institutionalize anti-Semitism into the fabric of life in Germany. The Palestinian leadership has had decades. We should not be surprised that the result is radical, murderous individuals, even teenagers, who enact what they have been taught to do. But we should be surprised, and shocked, when this occurs at the behest of those with whom Israelis are told to make peace.
Reviewing the Palestinian record of incitement, Golda Meir’s famous quote that “peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us” has never rung as true as it does today. If we look upon these sentiments and acts of incitement as excusable, we are infantalizing the Palestinians and we are the fools. It is a moral imperative for us not to look at American and Israeli flags being burned on the streets of Tehran or Gaza, or kids shows being used to incite hatred and just shrug and say “well, that’s just how they are.” We must call out the duplicity of Palestinian and other Arab leaders who say one thing to the Western world in English and quite another in Arabic that promotes violence and terrorism. We must finally reject the wholesale, rotten, purveyance of hate that permeates Palestinian society.
Besides holding the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian society responsible for the violence they have created and carry out every single day, we must also hold the dozens if not hundreds of international NGOs who interfere with Israel’s ability to control the conflict and prevent more murders. See this excellent article in Friday’s Jerusalem Post by Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor in which he says that it’s time to talk to the EU about NGO funding.