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Two Israelis killed in shooting attack at gas station north of Jerusalem

Rabbi and teenager were shot by PA policeman, who was killed by off-duty reservist

Israeli security forces at the scene of a deadly shooting attack near the Jewish settlement of Eli, West Bank, Feb. 29, 2024. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Two Israelis were killed Thursday evening, when a Palestinian Authority police officer opened fire at a gas station in Samaria, near the settlement of Eli, which is located about 35 minutes north of Jerusalem.

The victims were identified as Rabbi Yitzhak Zeiger (57), the father of three children, and Uriah Hartum, a 16-year-old from the settlement of Dolev, who was traveling with Zeiger. 

Hartum was a student at the Shomeria Yeshiva High School in the Benjamin district. 

At the time of the attack, Rabbi Zeiger was fueling his car when the terrorist, Muhammad Yusuf Manasra, 31, an officer with the Palestinian Authority police force, opened fire on him.

Zeiger, who was also a volunteer in the ZAKA paramedic and rescue service, reportedly attempted to return fire, after being shot but was killed before shooting the terrorist. Hartum was murdered inside the vehicle. 

Magen David Adom paramedics said both Zeiger and Hartum were unconscious upon arrival at the scene and were declared dead within minutes. 

According to Shin Bet, Israel's security agency, Manasra served two previous prison sentences and was last released from Ofer Prison in 2019, where he was imprisoned for weapons offenses. 

Off-duty reservist Aviad Gazbar, who only recently returned from reserve duty in Gaza, engaged Manasra with his rifle. 

Gazbar said he heard the shots from inside the nearby restaurant he co-owns, Hummus Eliyahu. He readied his rifle and moved towards the terrorist. 

“I heard gunshots, I was in the hummus restaurant. I understood it was a terror attack,” Gazbar told Israeli media on the scene.

“I fired a bullet so that the terrorist would understand I was here. I signaled to him [waving his hand], and he started charging towards me, I took a spot and then took him down and continued scanning.” 

Gazbar added: “The same terrorists who are in Gaza are the same terrorists who are here.” 

The terror attack took place at the same rest stop as another attack in last June, where a shooting claimed four lives.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir insinuated that the War Cabinet’s “capitulation” regarding the Temple Mount was to blame for the tragedy.

“Yesterday the capitulation of the Cabinet of the Conception regarding the Temple Mount - today a terrorist attack,” Ben Gvir wrote on social media. 

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said, "I will demand at the cabinet meeting tonight to change phases and let go of the working concept in Judea and Samaria as well. This is not an economic situation, it is a deep hatred of Israel that is no different between Gaza and Judea and Samaria.” 

Several members of both parties called to increase settlements in Judea and Samaria, similar to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement following the shooting attack in June.  

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

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