image Photo: Flash90

Terror attacks plague Israel

Three separate attacks occurred at different locations in the West Bank over the weekend.

By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner

Ronen Hanania, 49, was fatally shot in the head after shopping at a Palestinian store between Hebron and the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba on Saturday night. Hanania’s 19-year-old son Daniel, who was wounded in arm, ran back inside for help. Three others were injured during the barrage of gunfire, including Israeli medic Ofer Ohana and a Palestinian.

The gunman was eventually killed after opening fire at a Kiryat Arba security officer and an off-duty IDF Golani Brigades Platoon Commander who had rushed to the site.

The victims were evacuated to the Sha’are Zedek Medical Center for care. Ohana, 37, remains in serious but stable condition after undergoing two surgeries, and the others have been released.

The assailant was identified as Muhammad Kamal al-Jabari, whose brother Waal was freed from life behind bars in an Israeli prison in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange with the Islamist Hamas rulers of Gaza.

Defense establishment sources confirmed to TV7 that Jaabari was a member of Hamas’ Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades military wing.

The assailant, who carried out his crimes with an M-16 assault rifle, was diagnosed with cancer and reportedly recently informed that his case was terminal.

Palestinians in Hebron celebrated the deadly attack by setting off fireworks and handing out candy and other sweets in the streets while chanting pro-Hamas slogans.

In a separate incident in the Hebron District later on Saturday night, shots were fired at an IDF position from a passing car at the Bani Naim junction. Despite a return of gunfire and an ensuing chase, the assailants were able to escape. No injuries among the Israeli troops were reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid immediately ordered the deployment of additional troops into the Hebron region and that readiness be maintained in all sectors.

“We will use all the tools at our disposal, and we will not allow terrorism to rear its head,” he vowed, stressing, “Terror will not defeat us. We will act with a strong hand against the terrorists and those who sent them.”

Less than 24 hours after the deadly attack in Kiryat Arba, five soldiers were wounded in the Jordan Valley yesterday afternoon when a Palestinian driver deliberately rammed his vehicle them at the Nebi Musa Junction before slamming into a group of pedestrians at the nearby Almog intersection.

Israel Police Staff Sergeant Kobi Bahar of the Ma’ale Adumim Precinct arrived at the site and opened fire at the assailant, killing him.

Ambulance services reported that one of the soldiers suffered moderate injuries and the rest sustained light injuries. All of the victims were evacuated to the Sha’are Zedek and Hadassah Medical Centers in Jerusalem.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered a complete closure of the West Bank territories starting at midnight due to tomorrow’s national parliamentary elections.

The intelligence community is warning that the number of terror attack threats has reached a record high of about 100. While the alerts are not specifically related to tomorrow’s polling, the event could be viewed as an opportune time to strike.

Consequently, about 200 additional Border Police forces have been deployed to reinforce troops stationed in Judea, Samaria and the Jerusalem seamline with the Palestinian territories. Police have also appealed to all citizens with permits to carry weapons until further notice.