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October 7, 2018 10:37 am

Eyewitness to West Bank Terror Attack: ‘I Fired One Bullet at Him and He Disappeared’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An Israeli soldier stands guard at a checkpoint as the search for a terrorist who murdered two in an attack on the Barkan industrial area in the West Bank continues, October 7, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman.

Eyewitnesses to Sunday’s terror attack at a factory in the Barkan industrial area near the West Bank city of Ariel described the scene to the Israeli media, including a man who fired at the fleeing suspect.

The attack took place early on Sunday morning at the Alon Group factory. The terrorist, armed with a homemade weapon, tied up a man and a woman and killed them execution-style. He then fired at another woman, who was moderately wounded but is expected to survive. The terrorist then fled the scene of the crime.

The suspect worked in the factory where the attack took place and has been identified by the security services, though he has not yet been publicly named. A manhunt is underway.

“I saw him run quickly toward the street and he fired in my direction,” Yogav Fried, who encountered the suspect moments after the shooting, told Israel’s Channel 2. Fried returned fire, saying, “I fired one bullet at him and he disappeared.”

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“The Palestinian came to the warehouse that is separated from the offices,” Fried added. “The Palestinian workers shouted that something had happened, so we ran to the floor to see what happened. The moment we saw one of the wounded lying with a bullet wound, we understood that we were talking about a terrorist attack. I drew my gun and searched everywhere.”

“I went room by room and office by office,” Fried continued, but could not locate the terrorist. “When I went out to the street opposite, he came up from behind me, I saw him escape toward the street below. He managed to aim his gun at me, shot a single bullet. I was able to return fire in his direction in a millisecond, and he disappeared from my sight.”

Smadar Leitenberg, a worker at the factory, told Channel 2 that the victims were “friends of mine who worked in financial management.” She rejected the notion that the incident may have been a case of workplace violence, saying she is convinced that the terrorist’s motive “was purely nationalist.”

“There is no connection to layoffs or to anything,” she said. “My boss always said that everyone he employed was one less terrorist,” noting that the factory employs many Palestinian workers.

“The Palestinian workers are like our family,” she added. “The boss was always with them and supported them, and it’s hard to believe that one of them did this.”

“It’s hard, what happened,” she said of her murdered colleagues. “A man with three children and a woman with a one-and-a-half year old baby. I have nothing more to add, it’s simply a terrible tragedy. … The dead woman was a wonderful and terrific girl. … The dead man was a wonderful boy, he brought his children to the factory, a dedicated worker and a good father.”

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