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At least four Israelis dead, four wounded in West Bank terror attack

Netanyahu said: 'We have already proven in the last months that we will deal with every murderer, without any exception.'

Israeli security forces at the scene of a shooting attack near the Jerusalem settlement of Eli, West Bank, June 20, 2023. (Photo: Flash90)

At least four people were killed, and four others injured in a terror attack that took place Tuesday afternoon in the northern part of the West Bank. Among the wounded, one 20-year-old man is in critical condition, two are moderately wounded and another is lightly injured.

According to reports in Israeli media, two terrorists drove a black Chevrolet toward the Jewish settlement of Eli, armed with M-16 rifles and knives. They approached the settlement’s guard and shot him first. They continued to drive to a nearby gas station, located on the infamous Highway 60, which has seen many terror attacks in the past. One of the terrorists also entered a restaurant and started spraying bullets where they killed additional civilians.

An armed Israeli civilian who was in the area managed to stop one of the attackers. The second terrorist stole a different car from the scene and fled away. Israeli police, border police and IDF troops launched a manhunt to find him. They shot and killed him as he attempted to get out of the car and flee.

The brother of the Israeli civilian who killed one of the terrorists wrote on Twitter that he was at the gas station with his children in the car. The terrorists arrived just when he began to put air in the car’s tires.

“My brother outflanked the terrorist and shot him 10 bullets until he fell down,” wrote Aviad Gadot. “He and his children are now recovering. We were abandoned with an enemy armed with IDF weapons. An ocean of terror. There is no Minister of Defense, there is no Chief of Staff. It's just you or the enemy in a split second. Absolute madness, orphans, widows and unsung heroes.”

Zaka spokesperson Moti Bookchin described the sequence, saying, "Apparently two terrorists who entered a restaurant near the gas station shot and killed three civilians, then came out and fired another fatal shot at a civilian who was refueling his car. Another citizen who was at the gas station opened fire and managed to neutralize one of the terrorists, the other apparently fled the scene."

The deadly attack comes one day after the Israeli military carried out a counter-terrorism operation in the Palestinian city of Jenin. The IDF and undercover Israel Border Police forces arrested two wanted terrorists from Hamas and Islamic jihad during the 12-hour mission. An exchange of fire ensued when the Israeli forces were about to exit the city and armed Palestinians exploded an improvised explosive device (IED) and shot at the troops. Seven Israeli soldiers were wounded in the operation and at least six Palestinian operatives were killed, including one from the Islamic Jihad. 

Following the attack in Eli, a spokesperson for the Hamas terror organization said it was "in response to the crimes of the occupation in the Jenin camp yesterday." 

"The West Bank revolutionaries strike everywhere, including places where the Zionist occupation does not expect. The ongoing revolution and this great uprising will continue and will not stop unless the goals of our people are achieved in freedom and independence," he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant convened a situation assessment following the attack. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir rushed to the scene at the gas station.

Netanyahu said it was a “criminal and shocking attack” in a recorded video statement released by his office just a few minutes before the manhunt for the terrorist was completed.

“From the bottom of my heart, I send my condolences to the families of the murdered, may God rest their blood, and on behalf of the entire nation, I send recovery wishes to the injured,” the Israeli premier said. “We have already proven in the last months that we will deal with every murderer, without any exception. Anyone who hurts us - is either in the grave or in prison. Same will be the case here.”

“I want to say to all those who seek our souls – all options are open. We will continue to fight terrorism with all our strength, and we will defeat it," he added.

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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