Staff Sergeant Gal Kobi, 20, from Tirat Carmel in northern Israel, was killed Sunday after he was shot in the neck near a checkpoint in Hebron's Cave of Patriarchs, it has been cleared for publication. He was rushed to the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition but eventually died of his wounds.
Dr. Danny Fink, a heart surgeon in Shaare Zedek said, "The soldier came essentially lifeless – with a pulse but no blood pressure. We performed extensive resuscitation efforts but his injuries were too severe. He lost a lot of blood."
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An initial estimate suggested he was shot by a Palestinian sniper.
Security forces set up roadblocks in the area in a bid to capture the shooter and Hebron was under a lock-down.
The shooting is thought to have occurred during a riot in the Cave of Patriarchs area. Security forces at the site were on high alert in light of Sukkot events. Palestinian hurled stones and fired firecrackers at troops who responded with crowd-dispersal means.
Security forces were evacuating thousands of visitors from the site. IDF sources said the army was treating the incident as a shooting attack and employing appropriate measures.
The United States condemned the killing of two Israel soldiers, in a statement issued in New York, where diplomats are gathering for the UN General Assembly.
"Such violence and terror are unacceptable, and undermine efforts to establish the positive atmosphere the parties need to progress in peace negotiations," spokesperson Jen Psaki said in an emailed statement.
A senior IDF officer ruled out any connection between the shooting and the murder of Sgt. Tomer Hazan over the weekend. "In a few days we will be able to identify a trend in the terror aspect but right now I see no connection. Hebron is currently sealed to prevent the exit of anyone who would want to escape. We will hold a situation assessment about Sukkot events in Hebron."
Amar had lured Hazan to his home in the West Bank, murdered him and dumped his body in a well.
He told investigators he had murdered Hazan in order to use the body as a bargaining tool to free his brother, a Tanzim operative held in Israel for involvement in terrorist activity.
Hazan was laid to rest in a Holon cemetery on Sunday afternoon.
Itamar Fleishman, Elior Levy, Noam (Dabul) Dvir and Ahiya Raved contributed to this report
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