The State Department strongly condemned the “tragic stabbing” which left Rabbi Nechemia Lavi and Reb Aharon Bennett dead, and Reb Aharon’s wife and child injured.
The terrorist was identified as Muhanad Shafeq Halabi, 19, from al-Bireh, near Ramallah in the West Bank.
“We call for all perpetrators of violence to be swiftly brought to justice,” the State Department said, according to Times of Israel. “We are concerned about mounting tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount, and call on all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm and avoid escalating the situation.”
The UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said in a statement that he was “shocked that some find it appropriate to justify such attacks as ‘heroic,’ when they are not only appalling, but are also dangerous to both Palestinians and Israelis alike.”
Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip, issued a statement after the attack, praising it as “heroic.”
“All political authorities, as well as religious and community leaders have the responsibility to condemn violence and act against incitement at a time when the entire region is reeling from the rise of extremism and radicalism,” Mladenov said. “The continued suffering of Israelis and Palestinians is a constant reminder that a just and lasting solution to the conflict can be achieved only through pursuing a negotiated two-state solution.”