#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
Rabbi And Teenager Slain At Gas Station In West Bank Terror Shooting

Source credit: Wikimedia.org

IDF claims to have killed two of the three terrorists, with one being shot by a hummus restaurant owner.


Two Israelis were murdered on Thursday at a West Bank gas station near the Eli settlement in an attack involving three Palestinian terrorists, one of whom is believed to have been a Palestinian Authority police officer.

The victims of the attack include 16-year-old high school student Uryia Hartum, and 57-year-old Rabbi and father of three Yitzhak Zeiger. Hartum, who had hitched a ride with Zeiger, was killed while sitting inside the car. Zeiger, who had previously volunteered with paramedic and rescue services, was shot and killed by the gunmen while filling the car with gas, though he attempted to return fire.

All three of the terrorists have been killed, two by the Israel Defence Forces, a third shot by a local restaurant owner, Aviad Gazber, who is reported to be a soldier in reserves who had recently fought in Khan Yunis but was taking some time off.

In a CCTV video, one of the gunmen - Muhammad Manasra - can be seen charging towards Gazbar with an assault rifle. Gazbar, meanwhile, aims and shoots him from inside the restaurant.

In a statement, the chairman of Eli Settlement Ariel Elemaleh said, “This is a serious attack. After the attack a year ago at the Eli gas station, another attack took place there. Now, the security forces, together with the Israeli community police, are conducting searches on the spot. Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall.”

Meanwhile, Shlomo Na'aman, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said in response to the attack, “We embrace the families of the murdered in this difficult time and demand to reverse the equation in the West Bank.”

The horrific attack occurs in the context of growing violence against Jews in the West Bank. Just last week an Israeli man was killed, and 13 others wounded by a Palestinian gunman. This prompted National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir to declare: "The enemies... want to hurt us. They hate us."

Such language represents the siege mentality being adopted by Jews who feel like they are constantly under attack. For Jewish settlers, any Palestinian could be a terrorist.

According to Ben-Gvir, authorities need to “distribute more weapons” to Israelis to defend themselves and increase security around Palestinian communities.

Since the 1967 Six-Day War, some 160 Israeli settlements have been built in the West Bank, housing around 700,000 Jews. Most countries consider these settlements to be illegal under international law, though this is disputed by Israel and the US. Despite continued violence against Jews, Israel has plans to build 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank in a move that has upset Western allies.

This week also saw IDF soldiers kill three Palestinian terrorists in an overnight raid, including Ahmed Draghmen, a senior commander from Islamic Jihad.

Since the October 7 terrorist attack on Israel in which 1,200 Israelis were killed and 253 taken hostage, around 403 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers, according to the Palestinian health ministry. This number, however, includes both civilians and terrorists.

While much of the violence in the West Bank is sectarian, it is also important to remember that a low-level war is being fought between the IDF and terrorist militias. Since October 7, heavy gunbattles have become increasingly common. The IDF has also arrested more than 1,500 Palestinians affiliated with Hamas across the West Bank.

With continued heavy fighting in Gaza and attacks from Hezbollah in Lebanon, for Israel, violence in the West Banks represents a third front in the ongoing war, an encirclement by hostile militias.

Terrorist attacks like the one carried out this week, will only increase fear amongst Jewish settlers, many of whom feel they need to carry guns on them wherever they go.

Nevertheless, the current security situation in the West Bank is detrimental to both Jews and Arabs. According to Freedom House, military occupation of the West Bank entails draconian restrictions on movement, political rights, and civil liberties. The Israeli military regularly detains and harasses individuals with suspected links to terrorist groups.

Most residents of the West Bank are governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) which oppresses journalists and activists who criticize its rule. Democratic elections have not been held to renew the PA leadership since the last presidential election in 2005.

Looking forward, the situation looks hopeless with both sides becoming increasingly entrenched. What’s for sure, however, is that terrorist attacks such as the one on Thursday are only making the already tense situation worse. Such terrorist attacks are motivated by anti-Semitism rather than some lofty political objective. The message sent to Jews is that they are not welcome, and they should be afraid.


Until these attacks stop, the chance of long-term peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in the West Bank looks incredibly slim.

Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in