All Israel

Imam of Hebron mosque opens fire at Jewish community from Muslim cemetery and is killed

Security forces are on high alert during the Ramadan season as Hamas calls for more attacks

Israeli security forces take up a position at the scene of an attempted shooting attack from the Muslim cemetery in Hebron, March 16, 2024. (Photo: Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

A Palestinian terrorist in Hebron opened fire at the Jewish community in the city from inside a Muslim cemetery on Saturday afternoon.

IDF soldiers immediately engaged the assailant while on patrol in the community and eliminated him after an exchange of fire.

The shooting attack was carried out by Sheikh Mahmoud Nofal, the imam of the Al-Qassem Mosque in Hebron, in the Judean Mountains. Footage uploaded to social media showed Nofal holding a Kalashnikov semi-automatic weapon and aiming at the homes of the city's Jewish community. 

Following the incident, Israeli Defense Forces and security searched the cemetery and the surrounding area to ensure there were no other assailants. 

According to the IDF Spokesperson, the terrorist had no known connections to any organization. 

The Hamas terror group issued a statement praising the imam as a martyr and called the terror attack “a heroic shooting operation” that was “part of the al-Aqsa Flood battle.” 

Hamas has called on Palestinians in the West Bank to join the 'Al-Aqsa Flood' during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Earlier in the day Saturday, a young Palestinian was arrested while attempting to infiltrate the community of Adora, also near Hebron. 

On Friday night, two 18-year-old Palestinians were arrested near Eldad, in southern Judea and Samaria, after security forces noticed they were carrying knives. It is believed they intended to carry out a stabbing attack in Eldad. They were arrested and taken for questioning by security forces. 

Minister Orit Strock, Minister of Settlements and National Missions from the Religious Zionism party, responded to the attack on Saturday evening.

“This cursed terrorist, an imam age ‘not suspicious for terror’ [a reference to the security forces considering men above a certain age to be not suspicious for terror activity], shot at point blank range at two children walking innocently down the only street allowed for Jewish movement in Hebron," she said.

"The soccer ball of my neighbor’s son, a 5th-grade student – I’ll bring it to the cabinet tomorrow – the ball was hit by the bullet instead of the boy, who was saved by the grace of G-d.” 

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir praised the soldiers who responded quickly and used the shooting as an opportunity to criticize the security policies of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. 

Gallant and Ben Gvir have clashed frequently over security issues in Judea and Samaria, internationally known as the West Bank.

Ben Gvir has argued for more movement restrictions on Palestinians and more checkpoints, while Gallant has preferred to use up-to-date intelligence and targeted raids. 

Last Monday, Gallant issued a video message warning against anyone who would use Ramadan as an excuse for violence. He began the message in Arabic, before switching to Hebrew. 

“We are aware that the month of Ramadan may be a month of jihad. We tell everyone who is thinking of trying us – we are ready, don’t make mistakes,” Gallant said, before ending with the traditional Ramadan greeting, “Ramadan Kareem.” [Generous Ramadan.] 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories