Recognized American-born activist, Ari Fuld, was fatally stabbed on Sunday outside of a West Bank mall.
Fuld, 45 and father of four, lived in a nearby area of Efrat. He was known for his opinionated advocacy of Israel on social media, and was renowned in the community for his efforts, AP News reported.
A 17-year-old Palestinian attacker was shot after a brief chase that followed the attack. The suspect stabbed Fuld and then fled outside of the mall in the southern West Bank, near the Gush Etzion area.
Palestinian Stabs American-Israeli Man to Death in West Bank https://t.co/SoXYCoVXeX
— New Delhi Times (@NewDelhiTimes) September 17, 2018
Video footage from the mall captured Fuld chasing, then firing at the suspect prior to collapsing. Onlookers also fired at the suspect, who was shot, but was reported to be in fair condition, Fox News reported.
Fuld was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died on arrival.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Fuld for a “heroic” fight against his attacker, and recalled Fuld as being “an advocate for Israel who fought to spread the truth.”
Fuld was a renowned English-language social media commentator covering current news and Torah lessons that he taught on a weekly basis. He was branded for his tough nationalist philosophy and strong pro-military position.
A long-time friend of Fuld’s, Josh Hasten, said he was friends with Fuld for 10 years and that Fuld often traveled extensively to view “the beauty and reality of life” in the form of various landscapes.
Hasten said Fuld often worked with Israeli soldiers, distributing care packages to them. He often assisted the Israeli soldiers in helping citizens during combat with Hamas near the Gaza Strip. “When the rockets were falling, that’s when he would get in his car and go down to Sderot,” Hasten said.
Fuld often had strong differences of opinion with Israeli criticizers and Palestinians. Facebook had suspended his account numerous times. “He did not hold back on his opinions. If that meant 30 days of Facebook jail, so be it,” Hasten said.
David Friedman, a strong ally and a U.S. ambassador to Israel, dubbed Fuld “a passionate defender of Israel and an American patriot,” on Twitter.
Fuld’s funeral was held late Sunday night, with hundreds of mourners said to be in attendance.
A GoFundMe fundraiser titled “The Ari Fuld Memorial Fund” raised over $750,000 in just three days following Fuld’s murder.
At least 50 Israelis, two Americans, and a tourist visiting from Britain, have been killed in various Palestinian attacks. More than 260 Palestinians were killed by Israeli armies during that same period, but say most were assailants.