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US, Israel Condemn Killing of Israeli Teen by Palestinian

  • VOA News

Relatives and friends mourn during the funeral of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13 — an Israeli girl who was killed in a Palestinian stabbing attack in her home in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba — at a cemetery in Hebron, June 30, 2016.

Relatives and friends mourn during the funeral of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13 — an Israeli girl who was killed in a Palestinian stabbing attack in her home in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba — at a cemetery in Hebron, June 30, 2016.

The United States and Israel bitterly condemned Thursday's fatal stabbing of a 13-year-old Israeli girl inside her home in a Jewish settlement by a Palestinian.

Hallel Yaffa Ariel, who had dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship, died in a hospital shortly after the Palestinian teen barged into her house and stabbed her in her bed. A security guard shot the attacker dead.

"The horrifying murder of a young girl in her bed underscores the bloodlust and inhumanity of the incitement-driven terrorists that we are facing," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, describing the scene of the slaying to television viewers.

Displaying a photograph of Hallel's bloody bed and a teddy bear on a chair, Netanyahu called on the whole world to condemn the killing in the same way it condemned terrorist killings in Ankara, Orlando, Brussels and elsewhere.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby called the killing "unconscionable."

Hallel lived in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, near the Palestinian city of Hebron. Israeli military officials said the attacker managed to get past a fence surrounding the settlement, but they were unsure how he got into the house.

Relatives hug each other at the bedroom of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, who was killed in a Palestinian stabbing attack in her home in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near the West Bank city of Hebron, June 30, 2016.

Relatives hug each other at the bedroom of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, who was killed in a Palestinian stabbing attack in her home in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near the West Bank city of Hebron, June 30, 2016.

Israeli authorities sealed off the village where the killer lived and rescinded his family's work permits.

Palestinian leaders have not reacted to the stabbing so far.

Lull in attacks

There has been a relative lull in the wave of Palestinian stabbings and other attacks on Israelis that began 10 months ago when rumors swept through Palestinian areas that Israel was planning to take over an East Jerusalem religious site sacred to Jews and Muslims.

Israel strongly denied the rumors and accused Palestinian authorities of inciting the violence.

But young Palestinians say they are fed up with poverty, unemployment, a stalled peace process, weak leadership and Israeli settlements on land they want as part of a future state.

U.N. Mideast envoy Nicolay Mladenov told the Security Council on Thursday that an upcoming report on reviving peace talks would call on Israel to cut back on settlement activity. It will also urge the relatively moderate Palestinian Authority to take back control of Gaza, which is in the hands of Hamas militants.

Mladenov said both Palestinians and Jews have lived in an "environment of fear" for generations and that violence and terror will not being on a Palestinian state.

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