A Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed well-known U.S.-born Israel advocate Ari Fuld, 45, Sunday outside a busy shopping mall at the nearby Gush Etzion Junction.
After being stabbed, video footage showed Fuld chasing and shooting the assailant, identified as a 17-year-old from the nearby Palestinian village of Yatta, before collapsing to the ground.
Fuld, a father of four and popular champion of Israel on social media, was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where he was pronounced dead.
Known for his passionate support and patriotism for Israel and the Israeli Army, Fuld had a wide array of followers in Israel and around the world.
“With his last strength, Ari fought heroically against the terrorist and prevented a greater tragedy,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. “Ari was a wonderful father to four children. He was an advocate for Israel who fought to spread the truth about Israel. May his memory be a blessing.”
Fuld worked at Standing Together, a non-governmental organization providing support to Israeli soldiers and often traveled to speak to groups in the United States on Judaism and Jewish history.
“When I met him, he showed me a shrapnel that had landed on his jacket and nearly killed him while he served his country. He carried the piece of metal with him all the time to remind him of the fragility of life and in the same breath he said, ‘I would gladly take a bullet for my beloved Israel,’” Dr. Afshine Emrani, a Los Angeles-based cardiologist and social media commentator said of his friendship with Fuld.
On Twitter, Fuld wrote, “Living the dream in Judea, Israel. Marketing, social media and business consulting when not defending Israel by exposing the lies and strengthening the truth.”
Fuld volunteered for military service in an IDF infantry brigade in a combat role, and later served as a reservist. He was injured in the second war between Lebanon and Israel.
Fuld was also a prominent member of the National Union Party’s Central Committee, a segment of the Jewish Home faction within Israel’s Knesset.
Palestinian terrorist factions within the Gaza Strip released a joint statement praising the stabbing attack as a “heroic operation.”
A spokesperson for the Gaza-ruling Hamas terrorist group told the Palestinian news outlet Safa that Palestinians have a “legitimate right to exercise resistance in all its forms against the Israeli occupation.”
Following the attack, the Israeli military set up several roadblocks to cordon the area.