Hundreds Attend Funeral of IDF Officer Killed in West Bank Attack

Ihad Khatib, stabbed to death by a member of PA security, laid to rest in Druze community of Maghar.

Ihad Khatib, the IDF officer who was stabbed to death on Wednesday by a member of the Palestinian Authority, was laid to rest in his Druze community of Maghar on Thursday.

Khatib, 28, a non-commissioned logistics officer in the elite Kfir Brigade, was attacked at Tapuach Junction, south of Nablus.

Hundreds of people attended the funereal, including Major Tomer Levi, Khatib's direct commander, as well as the commander of the Kfir Brigade, Colonel Oren Abman.

"His commanders told me he was a quiet, easy going man who loved his work and loved the people," Abman said, adding that he had learned that Khatib was "proud to be part of the brigade."

Likued deputy minister Ayoob Kara said at the funeral, which was attended by leaders of Israel's Druze community, that he thought Khatib's attacker should be sentenced to death.

Earlier Thursday, an Israeli general said the Palestinian policeman who stabbed Khatib to death said he was "tired of living", indicating a suicidal motive for the attack.

"I met this murderer shortly after the stabbing. He said he was tired of living, and this looks like something that is related to his personal circumstances," Israeli Brigadier-General Nitzan Alon said, without elaborating.

"We didn't find any sign in his home of an organizational affiliation or of clear ideological reasons," Alon told Israel Radio.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's government, which is pursuing a law-and-order drive in the hope of sidelining Hamas rivals and preparing for statehood, issued a rare condemnation of the attack, calling or "peaceful resistance" to Israel.

Khatib's father, Youssef, said his son had been in the police for 10 years, most recently serving in the office of the chief of police in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He said Khatib belonged to Abbas's Fatah faction and had left for work on Wednesday as normal.

"My son is very mild-mannered and I do not believe he would do this," he said.