The mother of Abed Alkarim Adel Assi, the 19 year-old terrorist who murdered Itamar Ben-Gal outside of Ariel on Monday, today called on her son to turn himself in and condemned the murder.
“My son has no right to hurt anyone. I condemn what he did and call upon him to turn himself in,” she said. “What he did won’t help anyone, to the contrary, it will destroy him and destroy everything.״
Assi’s mother is an Israeli citizen from Haifa, a fact that granted him Israeli citizenship and allowed him to reside in Jaffa. Shortly after his birth, Assi was separated from his parents, and was not reunited with his mother until 16 years later.
“40 days after he was born, he was taken from me, and only 16 years later did I see him. I did not believe it’s my son. I want to continue the life i’ve chosen for myself, far from this. Its hard for me,” she said in a video posted by the Israel Broadcast Corporation Kan News website.
Assi has been known to Israeli welfare services for some time, having not grown up with his parents and spending most of his adolescence on the streets. In 2016, Assi arrived at Beit HaShanti, a shelter for youth at risk in Tel Aviv. He spent several weeks living on and off at the shelter, but eventually left following disagreements with staff over his frequent visits to his father in Nablus, where they believed he was being taken advantage of and radicalized by hostile elements.
Assi stabbed Itamar Ben-Gal in the chest at a bus stop outside of Ariel in Samaria, fatally wounding him. Ben-Gal was brought to rest Tuesday morning, with security forces still working to locate his killer.