According to the investigation, some 30 minutes prior to the shooting incident, an IDF unit observed four men with firebombs making their way to the West Bank post of the haredi Netzah Yehuda Battalion. As a result, the battalion commander and a combat soldier stepped out of the post to ambush the attackers, and a third soldier remained in the post.
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The four Palestinians managed to nonetheless come near the post and hurl one of the firebombs in their possession at it, prompting the battalion's soldiers to fire back. One of the terrorists was killed on the spot, and the soldiers commenced a chase after the remaining three.
During the chase, another terrorist was killed, a third sustained light injuries and the fourth managed to escape.
The two terrorists who were killed are Amar Nasar, 17, and Najo Bilbisi, 18, from the village of Anbata. Bilbisi's body was found Thursday morning. Palestinian sources reported Thursday that a wounded man was admitted to a hospital in Tulkarem with injuries to his hand.
IDF post near Einav settlement in the West Bank (Photo: Ido Erez)
A senior official with the IDF Central Command told Ynet that "The attack on the post was planned; this post had been attacked before. The force was in danger during the chase and therefore opened fire. The incident lasted only a few seconds and we have documentation of the events."
According to the rules of engagement, a shoot-to-kill order can only be issued if the attackers are identified beyond a doubt.
The IDF will examine how the Palestinians managed to come so close to the post and whether the soldiers could have controlled the incident without opening fire.
Following the incident and against the backdrop of the funeral of Palestinian prisoner Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh Thursday, riots erupted across the West Bank. During the riots, two Israelis, a police officer and a civilian, were injured as a result of stone throwing near Ramallah.
The IDF source addressed the riots, saying "It is likely that these circumstances will persist tomorrow, during the Friday prayers. We are bolstering the forces in the region. On the one hand, the Palestinian Authority is making an effort to guard the area, but on the other hand it is using the death of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh to inflame Palestinians ahead of Palestinian Prisoner Day (marked annually on April 17).
"We have delivered messages on the issue to the Authority and we are working in collaboration with it so as to keep things from getting out of hand."
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