Since October 2015, five U.S. citizens have been murdered in Israel at the hands of Palestinian terrorists. These innocent victims included a father of six, a peace activist, a teenager preparing for college, a young father, and a U.S. Army veteran.
Following the most recent incident on March 8, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who was visiting Israel at the time, strongly condemned the attacks.
“This cannot be viewed by civilized leaders as an appropriate way in which to behave… It's just not tolerable in the 21st century,” said Biden.
“[Palestinians are] targeting innocent civilians, mothers, pregnant women, teenagers, grandfathers, American citizens. There can be no justification for this hateful violence, and the United States stands firmly behind Israel’s right to defend itself as we are defending ourselves at this moment as well.”
Below is a list of the Americans killed in the recent wave of Palestinian terrorism:
Taylor Force (middle) – Taylor Force, 28, a Texas native and MBA student at Vanderbilt University, was in Israel as part of a school trip. Force graduated from West Point in 2009 and served two tours of duty in the U.S. Army—one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. On March 8, Force was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in an attack that left 11 others injured in Jaffa and Tel Aviv. In a letter to Force’s grieving classmates, Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos said that Force "exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service."
Tuvia Weisman (bottom right) – On Feb. 18, 2016, Tuvia Weisman, 21, was shopping at a supermarket in Sha’ar Binyamin, north of Jerusalem, with his 4-month-old daughter and wife. Two Palestinians attacked an Israeli civilian in the store. Hearing the victim’s screams, Weisman, an off-duty soldier who was unarmed at the time, rushed to the aid of the victim. He was stabbed to death by the Palestinian assailants.
Ezra Schwartz (bottom left) – Originally from Sharon, Mass., Ezra Schwartz, 18, was in Israel for a gap year between high school and college. Schwartz was accepted to Rutgers University but deferred for a year to study at a Yeshiva in Beit Shemesh. On Nov. 19, 2015, Schwartz was volunteering in the West Bank delivering aid to soldiers when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at cars stuck in a traffic jam. Schwartz and two others were killed. The New England Patriots, at their next home game following the murder, held a moment of silence in Schwartz’s memory.
Richard Lakin (top left) – From Newton, Mass., Richard Lakin, 76, was a principal at Hopewell Elementary School in Glastonbury, Connecticut for 15 years. A life-long peace activist, Lakin taught English to Israeli and Palestinian students in Jerusalem. He was wounded in an Oct. 13, 2015, shooting and stabbing attack on a bus in Jerusalem. Two weeks later, he succumbed to his wounds. Lakin’s son Micah said that his father “died as a result of the same incitement and hatred he fought against his entire life.” On Feb. 3, 2015, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with the family of Lakin’s killer, along with the families of other Palestinian terrorists.
Eitam Henkin (top right) – A doctoral student at Tel Aviv University, Henkin, 30, was driving his wife and four children in the West Bank on Oct. 1, 2015, when they were gunned down by Palestinian terrorists. The attackers killed Eitam and his wife and fled the scene, leaving the Henkins’ four children orphaned.
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