The killing of a Palestinian gunman who murdered an Israeli soldier and escaped capture until attempting a second attack was welcomed by Israeli leaders, but protested by Palestinians who mourned his death with a moment of silence and a general strike on Thursday.
Udai Tamimi was shot dead on Wednesday evening after opening fire at security guards at Ma’ale Adumim in the West Bank. He had been on the run for 11 days after killing Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, and severely injuring a 30-year-old civilian guard at the Shuafat checkpoint in eastern Jerusalem.
“You neutralized someone who had already committed murder,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said while meeting on Thursday with the two security guards who stopped Tamimi during his attack on Ma’ale Adumim. “People who murder continue to do so until somebody stops them. You saved lives. That is the definition of courage, doing something that saves lives. You have the gratitude of the whole country.”
Tamimi managed to evade capture by Israeli forces for more than a week after killing Lazar. At that time, he was mainly living in apartments between the Shuafat neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem and the Palestinian town of Anata in the West Bank, Israel’s Channel 13 reported. In several instances, investigators from the Shin Bet security agency arrived to hideouts just minutes after he left.
He was aided by various people during his time on the run, many of whom have already been arrested by the Shin Beit, though his movements in the past few days — and the identity of the individual who drove him to Ma’ale Adumim — are still unclear.
A moment of silence was held in his honor in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, where the ruling terrorist group Hamas described Tamimi as “a national icon.” Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank carried out a general strike over the gunman’s death, closing schools and businesses. Tamimi drew many Palestinian supporters while fleeing capture, with some men even shaving their heads to look like him.
In an alleged will published on social media by Palestinian activists, Tamimi reportedly urged others “to carry the rifle after me.”
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