A Queens-born Israel advocate and well-known social-media personality were fatally stabbed by a Palestinian in the West Bank on Sunday, according to reports.
Ari Fuld, 45, who was born and raised in Hillcrest and lived in the settlement of Efrat after moving to Israel, was stabbed by 17-year-old Khalil Jabareen of Yatta near the entrance to a mall close to the Gush Etzion bloc in the West Bank, Israeli authorities said.
Video footage showed Fuld giving chase and firing at his attacker before collapsing. Other civilians shot Jabareen, who was reportedly in fair condition, reports said.
“An old childhood friend Ari Fuld from Queens and a champion of Israel have been killed. Baruch Dayan Emet to the family….In shock…” Fuld’s friend, Alex Gutman, wrote on Facebook.
Gabriel Boxer added. “I grew up in Hillcrest, Queens spending many Shabbos meals at the Fuld house playing with [Ari’s brother] Hillel Fuld and I still remember those Shabbosim as it was yesterday.
“I have no words right now and I’m still in shock at the loss that Bnei Yisrael took just now.”
Fuld was an English-language Internet commenter on current affairs who was known for his hard-line nationalist ideology and strong support for the Israel Defense Forces.
Settler spokesman Josh Hasten, who said he had known Fuld for about 10 years, explained that his friend traveled widely to showcase “the beauty and reality of life” in the Jewish state.
“When the rockets were falling, that’s when he would get in his car and go down to Sderot,” Hasten said, referring to the city in the western Negev about a mile from Gaza.
Fuld, who held a fourth-level black belt, also was known for his outspoken manner that included verbal clashes with Palestinians and critics of Israel.
“He did not hold back on his opinions,” Hasten said.
During last year’s march by right-wing Israelis through East Jerusalem’s Old City to mark 50 years since Israel seized control of it in the Six-Day War, Fuld said it was a “miraculous day” for Jews.
“Today we are celebrating the unification of Jerusalem,” he said.
Fuld’s brother Hillel, Fuld, who also describes himself as a tech vlogger and blogger, tweeted: “He lived as a hero and died as a hero. My big bro is gone. Thanks for the messages. Really. Just looking for oxygen now.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Fuld for fighting his attacker “heroically.”
“Ari was a wonderful father to four children. He was an advocate for Israel who fought to spread the truth about Israel. May his memory be a blessing,” Bibi wrote on Facebook.
On Twitter, David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel and a strong supporter of the settlements, called Fuld “a passionate defender of Israel & an American patriot.”