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February 27, 2023 3:22 pm

Israeli-American Citizen Killed in West Bank Terror Attack as Security Situation Unravels


avatar by Andrew Bernard

The scene of a shooting attack near Jericho, the West Bank. Credit: Rescuers Without Borders

The security situation across Israel and the West Bank continued to deteriorate on Monday as American officials announced the death of an American-Israeli dual citizen in a terrorist attack, the latest in a slew of such attacks that have sparked reprisal violence and prompted Israel to deploy hundreds of additional troops to the West Bank.

While the man’s identity has not been released, US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides announced his killing in a statement on Twitter

“Sadly, I can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed in one of the terror attacks in the West Bank tonight,” Nides said. “I pray for his family.”

According to the Magen David Adom emergency service, medics were called to Beit Ha’arava Junction after receiving reports of a car crash. When first responders arrived, they found an unconscious 27-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where he was pronounced dead hours later.

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According to Israel’s army and Rescuers Without Borders, multiple gunmen arrived by car at the junction and opened fire at an Israeli-owned car. They then continued driving and carried out another shooting at the Almog Junction, where a family of four was “miraculously” unharmed despite their vehicle being shot and damaged as they drove through a gas station.

The terrorists set their car on fire and tried to change vehicles, but ended up fleeing on foot toward the Jericho refugee camp. Israeli security forces shot at the assailants but it was unclear whether they were hit. Israeli soldiers set up roadblocks and checkpoints in the area as part of the ongoing manhunt.

The attack came a day after Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, were killed as they drove through the West Bank Palestinian town of Huwara. That gunman has also not been apprehended.

Hours after those shootings, Israeli settlers rioted in the town and a Palestinian man was fatally shot in a nearby village. According to an IDF statement on Monday, the settlers also clashed with the IDF and in one incident tried to ram an IDF officer with a car, forcing them to fire on the vehicle.

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog condemned the reprisal violence saying “this is not our way.”

“This is criminal violence against innocent people and it harms the State of Israel,” Herzog wrote. “It harms the settlement, the security forces that are busy chasing the dangers, but mostly it harms us as a moral society and as a country.”

The United Nations Security Council will meet in an emergency closed-door session Tuesday to discuss the ongoing violence.

That meeting follows a summit in Aqaba, Jordan, between Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian, and American officials to try to defuse the security situation, the first such summit with Israeli and Palestinian participation in years.  In a joint communique issued on Sunday, the participants agreed to reconvene in March and to end “unilateral measures” for 3-6 months.

While the communique says that Israel committed to “stop discussion” of new settlements for 4 months and to stop authorizing new outposts for 6 months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to twitter to say that “there is and will not be any freeze.”

“Construction and regulation in Judea and Samaria will continue according to the original planning and construction schedule, without any changes,” Netanyahu wrote.

Additional reporting provided by i24 News

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