Gunmen tried to set soldiers' bus on fire, says eyewitness in Jordan Valley attack

Passerby driver says she saw attackers hosing bus with gasoline as they fired several rounds at the vehicle; 'I saw one of the terrorists hold a Molotov cocktail, and then I heard a bang,' she says

Elisha Ben Kimon, Lior El-Hai|
Palestinian terrorists who opened fire at a bus carrying Israeli soldiers in the West Bank's Jordan Valley also tried to set the vehicle on fire along with all those within it, an eyewitness told Ynet on Sunday.
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  • Efrat, a 22-year-old resident of the northern West Bank, said that she was making her way to the settlement of Shadmot Mehola with a hitchhiker she picked up along the way.
    Gunmen's truck tailing soldiers' bus in moments leading up to the attack
    (Video: Jordan Valley Regional Council)
    "I saw one of the terrorists hold a Molotov cocktail, and then I heard a bang. Right after that, I heard shots. I put the pedal to the metal and got out of there. The terrorists literally tried to set the bus on fire," she said.
    The attack took place shortly after noon as the attackers tailed a bus carrying Kfir Brigade soldiers on Route 578 and started shooting.
    Six soldiers and one civilian were wounded in the attack. One of the casualties is in serious condition while another is in moderate condition. The rest suffered mild injuries from shrapnel.
    The terrorists had to desert their getaway car after it caught fire from a gasoline bomb. Two suspects were captured shortly after by Israeli security forces and two guns were found in the vehicle. A third suspect remains at large.
    3 View gallery
    תיעוד מזירת פיגוע הירי על האוטובוס בבקעת הירדן
    תיעוד מזירת פיגוע הירי על האוטובוס בבקעת הירדן
    Security forces inspect the bus after the attack
    (Photo: AFP)
    "I was driving with a hitchhiker when suddenly, the car in front of me took a detour on the narrow road. It caused the bus to stop, it was a white truck. Suddenly, I saw that its open part was covered with plastic, and a hose came sticking out of it and started spraying the bus with gasoline. The gasoline also reached my car," Efrat said.
    "At that point, we stopped by the side of the road and then I saw a hand sticking out of the plastic and a terrorist moving the hose and holding a blue can, which was most probably a Molotov cocktail. I heard a bang, it was really scary, and then I heard shots and realized I was in a terrorist attack. I turned my car, and more gunshots started. Shrapnel got to my car too.
    I realized I could have easily been killed there. There was mostly stress in the car at that moment. I called the emergency services and drove away in the opposite direction as fast as I could. I feel like I was saved by a miracle."
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent a speedy recovery to the casualties and commended security forces and first responders for their swift response.
    3 View gallery
    זירת תפיסת המחבלים
    זירת תפיסת המחבלים
    Security forces inspect the attackers' charred vehicle
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    "We will continue to put our hands on whoever tries to harm the people and soldiers of the State of Israel," he said.
    Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling the Gaza Strip, issued a statement praising the attack.
    "The action of the heroes and the ongoing resistance is part of the response of the Palestinian people to the crimes of the Zionist occupation," the group said.
    "The resistance in the West Bank can overcome all the obstacles imposed by the occupation, and all its measures, including assassinations and arrests, will not stop the revolutionary tide of the West Bank. Resistance will continue everywhere."
    3 View gallery
    זירת תפיסת המחבלים
    זירת תפיסת המחבלים
    Security forces searching after fleeing suspects
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    Daoud Shihab, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group with which Israel fought a 55-hour battle last month in Gaza, said that "neither the policy of arrests and assassinations nor Israeli crimes will limit the power of the resistance - but the opposite. The battles of the resistance give strength to the youth who revolt and give more determination to the resistance fighters throughout Palestine."
    Tensions throughout the West Bank have been simmering for months as Israel has been carrying out arrests of Palestinian terror suspects in the territory on an almost nightly basis as part of a massive counterterrorism operation prompted by a series of Palestinian attacks that left 19 Israelis dead earlier this year.
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