Terror victim’s family ‘horrified’ that terrorist was PA member

After IDF forces killed the terrorist who murdered their father, the family members of Rabbi Michael Mark was horrified to learn that the terrorist belonged to the Palestinian Authority and was known to Israeli intelligence.

Family members of terror victim Rabbi Michael Mark, who was murdered in a Palestinian terror attack earlier this month, reacted on Wednesday to the news that IDF forces had killed the terrorist responsible for his death and captured the rest of the terror cell involved in the attack.

“We thank the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) for dedicating days and nights to locate the murderers,” said the Mark family in a statement.

They said they were “horrified” to learn that one of the cell members was a member of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces, that the terrorists were known to Israel’s security forces, and that the shooter had served time in Israeli prisons for previous terror activity. “We expect an adequate response to this fact,” they demanded.

IDF forces killed Mohammed Pakia, who pulled the trigger during the drive-by shooting attack that killed Mark and severally wounded his wife and other family members near the Israeli community of Otniel on July 1.

Yochai Damri, head of the Mount Hebron Regional Council in which Otniel is situated, said he has mixed feelings about the operation. “On the one hand, I praise the IDF for their determination in locating the killers,” he said. “On the other hand, this unfortunately does not calm us since it does not prevent the next attack.”

The Hamas terror organization, of which Pakiah was a member, praised the terrorist. “Hamas mourns the martyr” who “ascended to the sky after a six-hour battle with occupation forces in Surif,” Hamas tweeted.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, condemned the IDF counter-terror operation as “a crime.”

By: Tzvi Lev/TPS
Michael Bachner and World Israel News contributed to this article.