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 Hospital and the other to Hadassah Hospital Ein Karem, both in Jerusalem.
Raz Chen, who owns the kiosk near the bus stop at the Asaf Junction, said the victims were smiling as they bought food and drinks from him.
"They ordered coffee and bourekas … which I brought them to the bus stop … and then I heard gunshots and saw a girl running toward the intersection,” he recalled."I approached the soldiers as they were lying on the ground, with the gunman’s car speeding away.”
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of the security cabinet, said the terror attack was a direct result of what he called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s incitement campaign against Israel.
“Whoever pays the terrorists and gives out awards to them, whoever welcomes terror activity and teaches their children hatred—is responsible for these attacks,” Steinitz said.
“Aside from the horrific incitement, there is still (Israeli-Palestinian) security coordination—which is also in the interests of the Palestinians—but it’s unfortunate that they simultaneously continue to encourage terror,” he said.
The energy minister added that the main priority was not to arrest or eliminate the perpetrators after they’ve committed an attack but rather to catch them before they carried out such atrocities.
Meanwhile, the head of the Beit El Regional Council in the West Bank, Shai Alon, blamed Israel's political echelon for the attack.
“The government policy is not clear. We must stop these terrorists who emerge from Ramallah. The IDF knows how to do it, and they should be allowed do its missions as they see fit,” Alon said, adding that the residents of the council intend to go on strike until they saw a change in the government policy for securing settlements.