Meir Tamari, a 32-year-old father of two, was murdered on Tuesday in a drive-by terror attack outside the West Bank settlement of Hermesh where he had lived for the past four years, just one day before celebrating his birthday.
He was survived by his wife Tal and his two 15-month-old children. He was the 20th Israeli killed in terrorist acts since the beginning of the year.
Tamari was an electrician who had recently completed building his home in the settlement when he was shot dead by a terror squad that had overtaken his car on the road and opened fire discharging at least seven shots from an M16 rifle, before escaping.
Local regional council leader Yossi Dagan eulogized Tamari. "It is very harsh news, the heart breaks along with his family, community and the entire nation," Dagan said. "It is painful to say this now but the writing was on the wall. This could have been avoided. Meir was shot yards away from where a military checkpoint once stood and if it had been manned, the attack would not have taken place. We begged for the checkpoint to be returned. We warned that we would pay in blood, but our pleas were not answered," he said.
"Had the government not succumbed to international pressure and removed the security checkpoints, including the one right here, Meir would have still been with us today and this evening would have laughed and played with his small children and Tal, his wife," Dagan went on to say. "I now demand the return of the security checkpoints. If soldiers would have stopped the terrorists, Meir would have still been alive," he said.
Likud lawmaker Avihai Bowaron, himself a settler said the military was to blame. "From one day to the next the life in Judea and Samaria is becoming more dangerous. The Arabs sense that Israel has forsaken the area and are acting accordingly. This reality must end," the Likud member said.
"The IDF must regard the Palestinian Authority as an enemy entity and protect Israel and the Israelis in Judea and Samaria. The IDF should not be seeking quiet. It should be searing for the Palestinian enemy. Only then will security return to the region and to Israel," he said.
The IDF said a manhunt was underway to apprehend the assailants. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was being briefed on events including the efforts to find the terrorists and will hold a security assessment with senior officials later in the day.