Two people were slightly injured this Tuesday evening by shrapnel from a shot-out car window, following a shooting attack on a vehicle on Route 60 at the Beytot intersection in the West Bank, near the Palestinian town. The shooter, who apparently opened fire from the side of the road and not from a passing vehicle, fled. Israel Defense Forces soldiers began a hunt for him.
Images from the scene show damage to the vehicle, with its side windows smashed, and blood on a pair of tzitzit, a ritual garment, left on the driver's seat.
As part of the search, the IDF has set up blockades around Nablus and Hawara. Forces from the IDF's Judea and Samaria Division have been deployed along the Huwara corridor and at the entrances to Nablus. The forces also are using technological means in order to locate the fugitive shooter.
Magen David Adom reported that a report was received after 8 p.m. on its 101 hotline in the Yarkon area about the shooting. MADA medics and paramedics began to provide medical treatment at the scene to two wounded people, about 30 years old, who were hit by broken glass in the head. The two, fully conscious, were taken to the Bellinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah, where their condition is described as light.
Ezra Pollak, an emergency medicine medic, said: "We quickly arrived at the scene and saw a vehicle with bullet holes. The two injured were sitting inside the vehicle suffering from glass shards on their heads and miraculously were not directly hit by the gunfire. We gave them medical treatment that included stopping the bleeding. We put them in an intensive care ambulance and with the help of an IDF medical force we evacuated them to the hospital, while continuing to provide medical treatment while both were fully conscious."
The attack comes against the backdrop of heightened security alertness ahead of the High Holidays and the surge in alerts of attacks, after five attacks in one week at the beginning of the month.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said last week that this is a "complex security period in all sectors," and warned: "There will be those who will try to harm us under the auspices of the holidays. To make sure that the citizens of Israel get through this period safely, the security system is being deployed in a broad way - in intelligence, in the protection of the roads and settlements, and in operations to thwart terrorist operatives and their emissaries." He also sent a message to the terrorist organizations: "We will act in defensive operations, and if we are required to attack - we will do so overwhelmingly. Don't try us."
Huwara has become a center of terrorism since February, when the brothers Hillel and Yagel Yaniv were murdered in the town in a shooting attack. Since then there have been many more attacks in which civilians and soldiers were injured and, nearly a month ago there was another deadly attack in which Shai Silas Nigreker and his son Aviad Nir were murdered . They were shot to death at a car wash in the Palestinian town, and the terrorist who escaped has not been apprehended. The town also made headlines due to the revenge riots carried out in its territory by settlers, and Minister Bezalel Smotrich's statement that it should be "erased."