The death of Tuvia Yanai Weissman, the 21 year-old off-duty IDF soldier and US citizen who was stabbed to death on Thursday in front of his wife and four-month-old daughter, was strongly condemned by the US in a press statement by US State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
“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 Tuvia Weisman. There is no justification for terrorism,” the statement read. “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.”
“We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends, and stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Privacy considerations prevent us from commenting further.”
Weissman was stabbed to death by Omar Rimawi and Ihad Sabah, two 14-year-old Arabs from Beitunia near Ramallah. The attack took place at a Rami Levy supermarket in the Sha’ar Binyamin Industrial Zone. A security camera at the store showed that a third Arab was turned away at the entrance to the store by a security guard but the two attackers were permitted to enter without a security check. They were filmed wandering around the store for 20 minutes before perpetrating the attack. Sabah was shot and killed by a bystander. Rimawi was shot and remains hospitalized.
Weissman, a resident Ma’ale Michmash, was in the store with his wife, Yael and their baby girl, Neta, shopping for the Sabbath. They were childhood sweethearts and got married two years ago. Weismann was a combat soldier in the Nahal Brigade but was sent home for a week -long leave without his weapon. His wife was interviewed by Channel 2 and said that her husband heard the first victim scream and ran to help despite not having a weapon.
Sgt. Tuvia (Yanai) Weissman was posthumously promoted to the rank of Staff Sgt. pic.twitter.com/4pI4Ljxufm
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 19, 2016
The other victim of the attack, a 34 year-old man, was hospitalized with moderate wounds.
The IDF is preparing to destroy the houses of the two attackers.