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Shooting attack in Jordan Valley injures 3 Israelis, security forces hunt for terrorist

Terrorist fired upon school buses transporting Jewish children

Medical teams near the ambulances that brought the wounded citizens from the terror attack in the Jordan Valley, at the Hadassah Mt. Scopus Hospital in Jerusalem, March 28, 2024 .(Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

A shooting attack on Thursday morning along Route 90, running north to south through the Jordan River Valley, wounded three Israelis, including a boy on a school bus. 

Security forces were still looking for the terrorist at the time of publication. 

According to reports, at least one terrorist laid an ambush on the road near the Palestinian village of Auja, just north of Jericho.

The terrorist opened fire at private vehicles traveling along the road, including a school bus transporting children. At least three vehicles were reportedly struck by the terrorist, who was allegedly waiting in a car parked near the road during the attack. 

The vehicles that were hit continued driving until they encountered security forces, at which time they reported the attack and received medical attention. 

Three people were taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem by Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance services.

The three victims included a 30-year-old man in moderate condition, as well as a 21-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy, both in good condition. The 13-year-old boy was on the bus with other children on his way to school. According to local news reports, he suffered from glass shrapnel wounds to the face. The two men were reportedly driving private vehicles when the shooting attack took place.

The IDF released a statement: “Following the initial report, a terrorist fired toward a number of vehicles adjacent to the town of Al-Auja. IDF soldiers were dispatched to the scene, blocking off routes in the area, and are pursuing the terrorist.” 

In addition, two armored buses, carrying Jewish children to school were struck without any injuries to the occupants. 

“We were rushed to the entrance to Kibbutz Na'aran. We saw a vehicle with two men who were wounded," said MDA medic Lital Kruwani, who tended to the wounded.

A dash cam video from one of the buses showed the terrorist, wearing clothing that resembled an IDF uniform, shooting at the vehicle as it passed. 

Route 90, which is controlled by the IDF, passes through the village of Al-Auja where there are a number of local shops along the road. Israelis frequently use the area as a rest stop while traveling through.

Knesset Member Dan Illouz of the Likud party posted a response to the attack on 𝕏.

“Terror must be defeated in all arenas while defeating the enemy and deepening our roots in the land of our ancestors. Now is the exact time to apply sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, an area whose importance is not disputed in Israeli society.” 

Shlomo Ne'eman, chairman of the Yesha Council, released a statement condemning the attack on children. 

“Another attempt to massacre children, this time a despicable terrorist is shooting at a school bus in the Jordan Valley. We send recovery wishes to the wounded and expect the security forces to reach the terrorists and settle the score quickly. We come back and demand, for the safety of our residents and the residents of the entire State of Israel. It's time to turn the tide.” 

Ne’eman also blamed the Palestinian Authority (PA), which oversees the area. 

“The Palestinian Authority is waging a war against us, and only action with the same force as in Gaza will eliminate all threats throughout the West Bank. We call on the government of Israel and its leader, on the one hand, to allow the development of the settlement without restrictions and, on the other hand, to go to war to eliminate the vile enemy,” stated Ne'eman.

A group called "Looking Occupation in the Eyes," which focuses on human rights for Palestinians in the Palestinian Territories, wrote a message on social media claiming that the 30-year-old and 21-year-old were affiliated with their organization, and were on their way to help protect Palestinian shepherds from harassment by Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria region, internationally known as the West Bank.

The terrorist who carried out the shooting attack on Route 90 was identified as Muhammad al-Sa'adi, an officer in the security forces of the Palestinian Authority. Al-Sa'adi is 27 years old and lives in Jenin.

Shortly before the attack, he wrote a post on Facebook which stated:

"In the future, the situation will be difficult. The victory does not depend on the armies - but on Allah, therefore it is necessary to do Jihad and that in itself will be the victory. Everyone should do what they can and pray for the benefit of the Mujahideen (fighters) and that the conscience of the Muslims will be awakened."

Al-Sa'adi has not yet been apprehended by security forces, who continue to search throughout the Jordan Valley.

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

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