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June 30, 2016

JCRC APPALLED BY THE MURDER OF A 13-YEAR-OLD ISRAELI GIRL WHO WAS STABBED TO DEATH BY A 17-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN TERRORIST WHILE SHE WAS SLEEPING IN HER OWN BED

The JCRC Also Condemns the Incitement to Violence by the Palestinian Authority

Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement in solidarity with the people of Israel who are suffering from a nine-month wave of terrorism, including yesterday's murder of a 13-year-old Israeli girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, while she slept in her bed by a 17-year old Palestinian terrorist:

"Last night, in a cowardly and particularly despicable act of terrorism, a 13-year-old Israeli girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, was stabbed to death while she slept in her bed by a 17-year old Palestinian terrorist. The Palestinian terrorist, Muhammad Taraireh, who entered the girl's home in Kiryat Arba near Hebron, also injured an Israeli security official before he was shot and killed.

"Our hearts are heavy with grief over the death of such a young and innocent child. May her memory and that of all the other innocents murdered during this latest wave of terror be for a blessing.

"Not coincidentally, this latest incident of terrorism comes just a week after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas received a standing ovation during an incendiary anti-Semitic speech before the European Union Parliament.

"In his speech, President Abbas, revived the ancient 'blood libel' against the Jewish people by falsely claiming that rabbis in Israel 'have said very clearly to their government that our water should be poisoned in order to have Palestinians killed.'

"Preposterously, Abbas also claimed that 'once the occupation ends, terrorism will disappear, there will be no more terrorism in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world.'

"While Abbas has since been forced to issue a half-hearted apology for his poisoned water allegations, the absurd claim regarding Israel being ultimately responsible for international terrorism anywhere still stands.

"Moreover, in the immediate aftermath of Hallel Yaffa Ariel's murder in her own bed, Abbas' ruling Fatah party was quick to honor her 17-year old killer as a 'martyr.' According to Palestinian Authority (PA) law, the family of today's murderer will immediately start receiving a monthly PA stipend that the PA pays to the families of all the 'martyrs' responsible for killing Israelis. However, as a matter of federal law, American taxpayer aid to the PA is supposed to be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis of the amount expended by the PA for these kinds of stipends.

"Finally, is it also worth repeating the comments of the 17-year-old terrorist's mother, who proclaimed '[m]y son died as a Martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.' In her praise, this mother echoes Abbas' incitement of violence from last October, when the Palestinian President decreed that, '[e]very drop of blood that has been spilled in Jerusalem is holy blood as long as it was for Allah. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded, Allah willing. ... The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours, and [the Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem.'"

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As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.