"Hero of the Otniel Attack"
"A terrorist behind the attack in which Rabbi Michael Mark was assassinated on July 1 was killed on Tuesday night during exchanges of fire with soldiers."
"During the operation to stop Mohamed Fakih, who carried out the attack, he was killed in an exchange of fire with soldiers."
Israel Defence Forces statement
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. Photo: Wikipedia
The estimable chief peace negotiator of the Palestinian Authority has condemned the country with which he ostensibly seeks to find a solution to the ongoing violence, for having caused the death of the Palestinian man who ambushed a family while they were driving to Jerusalem from the West Bank settlement where they lived. The death of Rabbi Michael Mark, occurred en route to a celebratory dinner with his mother when a vehicle careened past their own and shots rang out, hitting their windshield and killing the rabbi, leaving his wife and two teen-age children injured.
The overturned vehicle was seen by a Palestinian couple who stopped their own car and attempted to help those in the overturned vehicle. They took the wounded girl into their own car and attempted to comfort and reassure her. Shortly afterward another vehicle came along with a Palestinian doctor and his brother, also headed toward Jerusalem. They stopped and the Palestinian doctor attempted to give first aid to the wounded, until an Israeli ambulance arrived on the scene after the first couple had called for help.
Hamas had celebrated Fakia as the "hero of the Otniel attack". Saeb Erekat characterized the shooting as a "crime".
One of Fakia's family members accused the PA's security forces of having given information to the IDF on Fakia's whereabouts. After his death, a general strike took place in Hebron, with the declaration that it was to honour this hometown boy. Joint forces of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Israel Police had embarked on the night-time raid on the village of Tzurif, close to Hebron where Fakia had been hiding.
It had also been revealed by the Shin Bet that Fakia had earlier been involved with the terrorist group Islamic Jihad and it was his activities with that terrorist group that had landed him in an Israeli prison for planning attacks against Israelis. While in prison he became a Hamas operative. His accomplices in the murder of Rabbi Mark were arrested after the raid where Fakia, resisting arrest, was killed.
One accomplice who had been arrested several days after the event was revealed to be a member of the PA's national security forces, who during interrogation revealed he had driven the car where Fakia shot at the Mark family vehicle.
As a genuine Palestinian hero, Muhammad Fakia's death provides additional fuel to the fires of hatred and resentment that another martyr has been sacrificed to the altar of 'resistance' against the 'occupation', ensuring that the 'moderate' Palestinian Authority will move no closer to tamping down the invective against Israel, inciting Palestinians in the West Bank to do their duty, as so many have dedicated themselves to over the past months, through spontaneous attacks against Jews.