The IDF continued to comb the town of Hebron on Monday in search of the shooters responsible for the death of Staff Sergeant Gal Kobi, 20, from Tirat Carmel in northern Israel, who was killed Sunday after he was shot in the neck near a checkpoint in Hebron's Cave of Patriarchs.
He will be buried at the Haifa Military Cemetery on Monday at 4 pm.
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Also on Sunday night, soldiers discovered two hunters’ rifles during a search in Hebron. The rifles were seized and security forces arrested the two Palestinians in whose possession they were found. The detainees are currently being questioned. In addition, the IDF arrested eight wanted Palestinians.
According to initial estimates, the shooting of Kobi had nothing to do with the murder of Sgt. Tomer Hazan over the weekend, but Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon decided nonetheless to hold a security cabinet's emergency meeting later Monday.
Ya'alon offered his condolences to Kobi's family, saying "I mourn with the Kobi family for the loss of its son Gal. the State of Israel will not tolerate terror groups' attempting to hurt its citizens and its soldiers.
The streets of Hebron after the shooting (Photo: Reuters)
"The IDF and security forces will lay their hands on the terrorist and those who sent him," the defense minister noted, adding that "fighting terror is a lengthy battle, which requires our determination."
Kobi, a combat soldier with the Givati Brigade, took a bullet to the neck and was evacuated in critical condition to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where his death was pronounced.
Security forces search in Hebron (Photo: Reuters)
Following the shooting, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz met with Central Command chief Nitzan Alon for a situation assessment, in which it was decided to bolster troops in the certain locations in the West Bank.
The IDF will also bolster troops in Hebron, fearing violence might ensue during Sukkot events, scheduled to take place in Hebron.
According to police and settlers predictions, throughout the day tens of thousands of Israelis are to visit Hebron's Jewish quarter for Sukkot events, as security forces continue the hunt after the soldiers' murderers.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Beny Gantz commnted on the Hebron attack, as well as the murder over the weekend of an Israeli soldier, "This is a reminder that even though everything seems quiet and peaceful, the IDF still faces events in all sectors. This is a tragic combination of events, but we do not see a trend. I have no doubt that we will get our hands on the perpetrators of these crimes."
The United States condemned the killing of Kobi, and of another Israeli soldier over the weekend, in a statement issued in New York, where diplomats are gathering for the UN General Assembly. "Such violence and terror are unacceptable, and undermine efforts to establish the positive atmosphere the parties need to progress in peace negotiations," spokesperson Jen Psaki said in an emailed statement.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki also addressed the attack on Kobi, saying that the killing of an Israeli soldier was not motive for evading the requirements of the peace process.
Al-Maliki stressed that both sides are committed to releasing Palestinian prisoners in the second round of talks, which are expected to take place next month.
In addition, he noted that no meeting is expected to take place between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly this week.
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