Two IDF soldiers were killed and two other people were seriously wounded Thursday in a shooting attack in the West Bank, north of Jerusalem. The attack was the second of three on Israeli troops within a 12-hour period, and the only one to cause fatalities.
The attack—a drive-by shooting on Route 60, a central artery that runs through the West Bank—occurred at around 11:15am, some 5km south of the West Bank settlement of Ofra, at a bus stop next to the Giv'at Asaf outpost. All four victims were in their 20s. One of the wounded was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and the other to Hadassah Medical Center Ein Karem, both in Jerusalem.
Corporal Yosef Cohen, 19 from Beit Shemesh, and Sergeant Yovel Moryosef, 20 from Ashkelon, are the two combat soldiers killed in the shooting. They both served in the Kfir Brigade and were posthumously promoted to Sergeant and Corporal.
The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that the gunman exited his vehicle and opened fire on soldiers and civilians standing at a bus stop at the Asaf Junction. The gunman then returned to his vehicle and fled the scene, sparking an IDF manhunt.
The army bolstered its troops and placed a closure on the area following the attack. The closure extends to and includes the city of Ramallah, which is the seat the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank. The IDF expressed concern that the shooting could lead to copycat attacks and said it was exploring the possibility of a link between the shooting and Sunday's terror attack at the Ofra settlement.
"We are continuing our counter-terrorism activities, including securing the area and searching for the attackers from both incidents," the army said.
The military wing of the Hamas terror group praised the attack, but stopped short of claiming responsibility. The group, which carried out the shooting at Ofra on Sunday, vowed to continue attacks on Israeli targets and warned that, "the enemy must not dream of security, quiet or stability in the valiant West Bank."
Hours later, an IDF soldier was lightly wounded in a car-ramming attack in Al-Bireh, northeast of Ramallah. The driver was shot dead by forces on the scene.
The day of violence began when two Border Police officers were lightly hurt in a pre-dawn stabbing in the Old City of Jerusalem.
At around 5am, an attacker heading from the direction of the Damascus Gate drew a knife, jumped a Jewish man on Hagai Street, and tried to stab him. After he failed to do so, he ran towards two Border Police officers who were stationed nearby and tried to stab them as well.
One of them shot and killed the assailant, a 26-year-old resident of the West Bank.
A 19-year-old Border Policewoman was stabbed in her extremities and was moderately hurt. After arriving at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Karem, there has been an improvement in her condition and it is now defined as light.
A 21-year-old Border Policeman was lightly hurt and was taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital.