Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, 25, who was seriously wounded at a drive-by shooting attack near Shilo on Monday night, succumbed to his wounds at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem on Tuesday, his family said.
Initial investigation found that two terrorists ambushed Israeli vehicles in a car with Palestinian plates on the Alon road, a side road, but relatively well-lit, near the settlement Shilo. Shortly before 11 pm, the terrorists noticed an Israeli vehicle traveling their way, and opened fire at the front of the car from short-range. At least 15 9 mm bullets hit the Israeli car.
The terrorists continued firing at the vehicle even after the driver made a sharp turn towards the settlement Migdalim. After driving for 200 meters more, the Israeli vehicle stopped and its passengers called for help.
The terrorists managed to flee the scene in their car. Palestinians have complete freedom of movement on this road, as they do on all other main roads in the West Bank - this is not expected to change following the attack.
The IDF decided on Tuesday to reinforce its presence in the West Bank with an additional infantry battalion from the Nahal Brigade as a result of the recent spike in terror attacks in the area. The battalion will deal with defensive operations.
A high ranking official in the IDF said, "There is no collective punishment to the Palestinian population, and the steps that have been taken are a direct result of the current situation assessment and intelligence picture."
"The moment we get our hands on the perpetrators of the recent attacks we believe that the attacks will stop," he added. "The coordination with the Palestinian security forces continues as do the conversations with the settlers."
He also stressed that Israel was "far from what happened in the second intifada notwithstanding recent attacks. The recent attacks are a local group, and there is no connection between the attacks. There is no terror infrastructure behind the attacks."
'Malachi took on big brother role'
Rosenfeld, the son of popular Israeli clarinetist Eliezer Rosenfeld, was a graduate of the Machon Lev technological yeshiva in Jerusalem, and was studying at the Hebrew University.
Rosenfeld's parents, Eliezer and Sarah, expressed frustration at the lack of safety they felt due to the deteriorating security situation.
They asked "security forces and those whose job it is to do as all free countries do and provide us with security." They also decried the fact there were "no appropriate responses" to the recent series of attacks.
The two parents said that since they lost Malachi's older brother, an IAF pilot who died on a trip to Tze'elim Stream in the Judean Desert in 2002, "Malachi took the big brother role upon himself. He has a lot of love to the younger children in the family."
After learning of his son's passing, Eliezer told Ynet that Malachi "was a exceptional child, very clever, rationalist, genius and sensitive... he was always victorious and was the king of the world. Yesterday he only went to play basketball, came back to the settlement and was murdered in cold blood. This is a terrible tragedy."
Rosenfeld's cousin Ariel Bar Asher said that "Malachi was very much like his brother who died, both externally and internally. He had a good soul, friendly, pleasant, a genius and brilliant... he took charge of the family after his brother was killed. He was about to finish his bachelor's degree in a month."
The family consented to a request from the National Transplant Center to donate Malachi's cornea. "This is a big mitzvah," his father said.
'Terrorists fired for maybe 5 seconds'
Yair Hoffer, who was lightly wounded in the shooting, recounted the attack on Tuesday morning. "When we returned from the basketball game, a vehicle was slowly driving in front of us, and suddenly we heard the shots and realized we were being shot at," he said.
"Thank God, we were a few meters away from the junction. If I had been driving, we might have been closer to the junction and it would have been easier for them to aim. I didn't see how many people were there. I guess they shot about a magazine. When they were done they didn't drive very fast, they drove slowly, I think they were debating whether to leave the vehicle. I crawled outside through the window.
"When the shots start you just curl up and try to protect your head. I will never forgoet the feeling, it's just helplessness. When someone decides to try to take your life, and you didn't do anything to him. Decided to try taking your life because he realized you're a Jew. And you're helpless…
"It's also important for me to say, they say 'settlers', like if it were in Tel Aviv it would be different. I'm a settler, what does that mean? I grew up in Jerusalem and I looked for a nice place with a community to raise my children."
Another one of the wounded, Hananel (Hani) Cohen, 26 from Kokhav HaShahar, was the one who drove the car that came under the terrorists' fire.
Cohen is hospitalized at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Karem with a bullet wound to his leg.
He said that the Kokhav HaShahar basketball team was playing a game in the settlement of Eli as part of the Binyamin Regional Council's league, which ended at around 10 pm.
"At 10:50 pm, at the Gideon Junction on a road going from Esh Kodesh to the Alon road, I identified a car coming from the left and had the right of way. I slowed down and let him pass. It went into the junction and instead of driving on, it slowed down. We saw a gun barrel peeking out of the front window and it started shooting. It was a short weapon, looked like an X-95 but the bullets were different," he said.
"It fired for maybe five seconds. I tried to step on the gas and veer to the other direction but the car did not respond. After a few shots, the terrorists' car started driving south. My car crawled in the opposite direction. I drove maybe 150 meters and dialed the police at the same time," he continued.
"I realized we were all wounded. Both of the friends sitting in the back got out. Behind us came a vehicle and an officer came out of it and started providing us with help. After that another car arrived and several minutes later another military vehicle that realized what was happened. I was in the best situation, relative to the others. I tried to talk to the police and Magen David Adom and update them on what happened."