Security forces are conducting an extensive manhunt for the terrorist who murdered 60-year-old Shai Silas Nigreker and his son 28-year-old Aviad Nir at a car wash in the Palestinian town of Huwara. Searches have continued throughout the night, and the investigation into the attack has made progress, even though the terrorist has yet to be caught.
During the night, security forces entered the village of Aqraba, south of Nablus, arrested suspects and confiscated security cameras. This is also the area where the current manhunt for the terrorist is concentrated, since he is believed to be hiding near Nablus.
Roadblocks have been set up at exits and entrances to neighboring Palestinian villages, and large forces are conducting sweeps in the area. The IDF has also spread out significant forces near Huwara and the surrounding area as part of a new procedure aimed at preventing retaliatory attacks by Jewish settlers.
An early investigation into the attack suggests the terrorist left his car and entered the car wash where the two Israelis were located, recognized the two as being Jewish after they likely spoke Hebrew, and shot at least five bullets toward them, after which he escaped the scene on foot.
The investigation also reported that security forces stationed near Huwara were not aware of the gunfire due to the sounds of the car wash's machines, which muffled the sounds of the shooting.
Sharon Mozes, Shai’s work colleague, told Ynet that he asked him not to go to Huwara. "He said he was going there to fix his car, and I didn't want him to go,” he said. "He didn't listen to anyone. We were at a wedding two weeks ago, when he told me he wanted to head there to fix his car. He asked me to come with him, and I told him I wasn’t going near there.”
"He was like a father to me," Mozes added. "He was the first person I’d approach about anything. He was a kind-hearted person who loved to help and give his all."
Footage from a security camera located at the car wash shows the terrorist approaching the father and his son, shooting them at close range, then fleeing after throwing away his weapon.
"The two injured individuals were found inside a car wash facility, unconscious and suffering from gunshot wounds,” said Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic Tomer Gussman, who arrived on the scene. “We’re providing on-site medical treatment and performing resuscitation procedures alongside military medical personnel."
Despite the emergency service team’s efforts, however, the two succumbed to their wounds, and their deaths were announced shortly after.
IDF forces who arrived at the area launched a pursuit after the suspected terrorist's car, blocked main roads, and collected security camera footage from nearby cameras.
IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Genl Herzi Halevi arrived on Saturday at the scene of the attack in Huwara together with the division commander and the commander of the Samaria Brigade, and there was a preliminary investigation into the attack.
The commanders also conducted a situation assessment, during which the chief of staff was shown the deployment of forces and blockades in the area and the intelligence efforts to apprehend the terrorist.
Following the attack, the military warned that while arriving in Palestinian villages isn’t illegal, it’s ill-advised to do so in areas close to the West Bank.
The U.S. Department of State has condemned the attack in Huwara, saying: “We unequivocally condemn today’s terrorist attack in the West Bank that killed two Israelis. The United States expresses its condolences to their families and calls for immediate steps to end the violence and incitement to violence.”