JCRC Appalled by the Murder of Three Israeli Civilians Who Were Stabbed to Death by a 19-Year-Old Palestinian Terrorist While They Were Finishing Their Shabbat Dinner

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

July 21, 2017

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 an ongoing wave of terrorism, including today’s murder of three Israelis who were killed by a 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist as they were finishing their Shabbat dinner:

“Today, in a cowardly and particularly despicable act of terrorism, three Israelis, including a father and his two adult children were murdered as they were finishing their Shabbat dinner. Also, seriously wounded in this brazen terror attack was the adult children’s mother. Fortunately, a number of young children who were present during this stabbing spree were successfully hidden.

“The 19-year-old terrorist broke a window and surprised the family of ten. The terrorist was later captured alive and is now receiving medical treatment at an Israeli hospital.

“Our hearts are heavy with grief over the death of these three family members as they were celebrating a Shabbat meal with their loved ones. May their memories and that of all the other innocents murdered during this latest wave of terror be for a blessing.

“Notably, today’s murders come on the heels of a perilous escalation of tensions in and around Jerusalem and after the murder last Friday of two Israeli police officers – both hailing from Druze villages in northern Israel – who were killed by terrorists while protecting Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount.

“After a brief closure of the site, in which several deadly weapons were uncovered hidden at these Muslim holy sites, metal detectors were installed to protect the safety of everyone. These metal detectors are substantially similar to the metal detectors present at the Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina, as well as the metal detectors which Jews and other worshipers must pass through to access the Western Wall.

“Outrageously, rather than focusing their condemnation on the murder of the two police officers, the Palestinian Authority and other irresponsible actors in the Muslim world have invoked the most inflammatory rhetoric towards Israel. Consequently, a direct line can be drawn from calls by Fatah, the ruling Palestinian political faction, for a ’Day of Rage’ and today’s Shabbat dinner murders.

“Throughout this latest crisis, which was precipitated by the murder of Israeli police officers guarding Muslim holy sites, Israel has acted responsibly and reiterated that it is not changing the status quo. Notably, it is this same status quo, enforced by Israel, which forbids Jews from praying on top of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the place in which the First and Second Temples stood.

“The JCRC is extremely concerned that this already dangerous situation could become even worse and lead to additional bloodshed amongst Israelis and Palestinians from all faiths. We therefore call upon all responsible parties to take immediate action to reduce tensions and restore calm.”

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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.