(JTA) — The State Department condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the stabbing death of a U.S. citizen at a West Bank supermarket. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack that took place yesterday in the West Bank that resulted in the death of U.S. citizen Tuvya Weisman,” said the statement released Feb. 19, a day after the attack at the Rami Levi supermarket in Shaar Binyamin, north of Jerusalem. “This horrific incident again underscores the need for all sides to reject violence, and urgently take steps to restore calm, reduce tensions, and bring an immediate end to the violence.”
Weisman, 21, was buried Friday, Feb. 19 on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. A soldier in the Nachal infantry brigade who was off duty at the time of his stabbing, he is survived by his wife and 4-month-old daughter. A 35-year-old man was wounded in the attack. It was not clear where Weisman was from in the United States, or whether he had acquired citizenship through one of his parents. The Obama administration in November was criticized by some Jewish groups for not condemning swiftly or forcefully enough the murder of Ezra Schwartz, 18, an American on his gap year in Israel.
The suspected assailants in attack are Palestinian boys ages 14 and 15 from the West Bank town of Beitunia. After they were shot and injured by an armed civilian bystander, one died and the other was hospitalized.
The police said the teens had spent about 20 minutes inside the store before carrying out the attack. The Rami Levy chain is known for hiring Jewish and Palestinian workers in its West Bank stores, as well as catering to both Jewish and Arab shoppers.