U.S. ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, on Thursday visited a West Bank settlement to pay a condolence call to the grieving family of Tamir Avihai, killed in a terror attack on Tuesday.
During the 20-minute killing spree, three Israelis were murdered and three others wounded when an 18-year old Palestinian attacked them using a knife and then weaponizing a stolen car to ram into oncoming traffic on a nearby highway.
In addition to Avihai, the attack resulted in the death of Michael Dyligin an immigrant from Ukraine and Moshe Ashkenazi.
Nides had previously said he would not visit the settlements because that would "irate some people."
The ambassador told Avihai's family members in their home in the settlement of Kiryat Netafim, that he came to express his commiseration. "My heart breaks for you," he said. "I've visited other families who were mourning the death of their murdered loved ones, and thought it appropriate and respectful to visit here," he said.
Settlement regional council chief Yossi Dagan, who accompanied the ambassador said that his visit was appreciated. "Even when we do not agree on everything, we know that all of us are working towards the same cause," he said.
"I would like to tell you on behalf of the residents of Samaria, that we are grieving and in pain but not broken. We will not break," he said.
"We are people of faith and we know this is our land and we intend to continue to build with more fervor. We know that by living here, we bring security to the citizens of Israel," Dagan said.
Avihai's daughter told the ambassador that they were not afraid and were settling there with the intension to stay. "That is why we buried our father here, where he was raised," she said.
Avihai's brother – Neriya told Nides that the U.S. should investigate his brother's murder just like the FBI decided to investigate the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh.
The FBI announced earlier in the week that they are launching an investigation into the killing of the Al Jazeera reporter during clashes in Jenin, last May.
"My brother as a kind hearted man. "He was a loss not only to his family but to all the people of Israel," he said.