Palestine president says man who killed US Army veteran in Israel is a “hero”

U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force

More information coming in today about the Army vet and Texas native who was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist, outside Tel Aviv.

28-year-old West Point Grad, Taylor Force, was most recently studying at Vanderbilt University as a grad student and was on a trip to Israel, to train with start-up companies, when he was killed.

10 others were hurt in the attack on Tuesday, at a waterfront area in the city of Jaffa, just a mile away from where Vice President Joe Biden was visiting. Biden criticized Palestinian leaders for not condemning the attack.

“The kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop,” Biden said.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ political party posted a statement online praising the attacker as a hero and a “martyr,” according to CBS News. The attacker was fatally shot by police. The Fatah movement suggested that attacks like this would continue “so long as Israel does not believe in the two-state solution and ending its occupation.”

Meantime, back in the States, friends and family are remembering Taylor Force as the kind of “person you would want as an older brother.”  David Campos-Contreras, was an Army private serving in 2013, in Afghanistan, where Force was his platoon leader.

“He always led from the front – just everything you wanted in a leader. Professional. But you knew you could kick back and have a beer with him when the time called for it. Just a good guy,” Campos-Contreras said.

After graduating from West Point, Force served as a field artillery officer from 2009 to 2014, according to the Washington Post. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Eric Johnson, dean of the Vanderbilt business school said it’s tragic to see such a promising life cut short.  Force was just beginning his transition from active service life in the military to a new life in business –where he was really excelling.

“Force was good-natured, quiet, and very well-respected, Johnson said. “Taylor really was a quiet leader in every sense of the word. Humble and authentic.”

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