Homeland Security

American Teen Stabbed to Death in Bed by West Bank Terrorist

Rina Ariel weeps over the body of her slain 13-year-old daughter Hallel at Kiryat Arba, West Bank, on June 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Olivier Fitoussi)

The State Department confirmed today that a teen girl murdered in her bed this morning in the West Bank was a dual American citizen.

Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, was sleeping in at her home in the Kiryat Arba settlement when Mohammad Tarayreh, 19, climbed the fence around the neighborhood, ran into Hallel’s home and stabbed her as many as 18 times.

A security guard was also wounded by Tarayreh. A settlement volunteer who had been looking for the intruder shot and killed the Palestinian attacker.

The Israeli Defense Forces, which released a photo of the girl’s bloodstained bedroom, said she was the fifth Israeli killed since the beginning of Ramadan.

“We have now confirmed that she is a U.S. citizen. This brutal act of terrorism is simply unconscionable. We offer our heartfelt condolences, of course, to her family and to her friends,” State Department press secretary John Kirby told reporters.

“I’d also add that we just now heard that at least two Israelis were wounded in another stabbing attack today in Netanya and of course we extend our hopes for a quick and full recovery,: he added. “Look, as we’ve said many times, there’s just absolutely no justification for terrorism in — out of respect for the privacy of the families, in particular the family of Hallel, just not going to have further comment on those attacks.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met today and decided to cordon off the terrorist’s village, Bani Naim, revoke work permits for his family and schedule his home’s demolition.

“The horrifying murder of a young girl in her bed underscores the bloodlust and inhumanity of the incitement-driven terrorists that we are facing. The entire nation deeply identifies with the family’s pain and declares to the murderers: You will not break us,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to take strong and determined action against terrorism everywhere and at all times.”

“The entire world needs to condemn this murder just as it condemned the terrorist attacks in Orlando and Brussels.”

Netanyahu added that he expects the Palestinian leadership “to clearly and unequivocally condemn this vicious murder and take immediate action to stop the incitement.”

“Enlightened nations must join in this demand,” he said. “They must pressure the one who heads the network of incitement that leads to the murder of children in their beds and not the State of Israel, which is working to protect its children and its citizens.”