An Uzi-wielding terrorist killed three people, one of them Palestinian, and wounded several in a shooting attack at two scenes in Gush Etzion in the West Bank on Thursday.
The dead were a 18-year-old American citizen, a 50-year-old Israeli, and a Palestinian in his forties. All were killed by the terrorist and were in different vehicles. Security forces overpowered the attacker, halting the assault. Five people were lightly wounded.
According to a preliminary investigation, a lone terrorist arrived in his car at the road leading from Alon Shvut to Gush Etzion junction. He noticed a traffic jam and began to bypass vehicles – and then opened fire at cars stuck in traffic.
The terrorist continued but hit another car and could not continue the shooting spree. Security forces wounded the terrorist and took him into custody.
The terrorist was Abed al Basset Harub from Dir Samat near Hebron, according to Palestinian sources.
The 50-year-old man was named as Ya'akov Don, a resident of Alon Shvut and a father of four. The Palestinian killed by the terrorist was named as Shadi Arafa.
The Palestinian Health Ministry released an official statement claiming that Arafa had been killed by IDF fire, a claim repeated by the official Palestinian news agency. However, the terrorist was apprehended without being shot and it appears that security forces never fired a shot during the incident.
Five other people, including American tourists, were wounded in the attacks and evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital.
Yuval Lasri, who overpowered the terrorist, said: "I stood in the traffic jam and heard gunfire. The terrorist rammed a car behind me. I got out of my car, pushed his gun away and threw him on the ground. I didn’t shoot at him because I wasn’t sure that he was the terrorist, but then I saw the gun next to him and understood that he was."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the attack saying, "The murderous terror has struck Gush Etzion and Tel Aviv. My heart is with the families of the murdered and I send my wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.
"Whoever condemned the attacks in France needs to condemn the attacks in Israel. It's the same terror. Whoever does not do this is a hypocrite and blind," the prime minister concluded.
The shooting occurred two hours after a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree in Tel Aviv, killing two Israelis.
Yoav Zitun, Roi Yanovsky and Yael Freidson contributed to this report.