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2015 Gush Etzion Junction attack

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2015 Gush Etzion Junction shooting
Location Gush Etzion Junction
Date November 19, 2015
Target Civilians
Attack type
Shooting
Weapons Uzi submachine gun
Deaths 3
Non-fatal injuries
5
Perpetrator Mohammed Abdel Basset al-Kharoub

On 19 November 2015, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on a line of traffic near Alon Shvut in the West Bank and continued to fire as he drove the car towards Gush Etzion Junction where he lost control of the vehicle, which then crashed into another vehicle. He killed 3 people, and wounded 5.[1][2]

Attack

The attack took place at around 4:35 P.M.[3] The gunman fired an Uzi submachine gun at cars stuck in traffic, and, when his car crashed, stepped out of the vehicle to continue shooting.[4] The attacker was immobilized by a driver, Yuval Lasri, who told reporters that, " 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.”[4]

Context

This attack shocked the nation coming, as it did, after a period of calm, free of terror attacks.[5] Together with the stabbing at a synagogue in Tel Aviv that occurred only a few hours earlier, it was, "the bloodiest day in Israel since this latest round of Palestinian violence began back in September."[6]

Victims

  • Ezra Schwartz (18), an American from Sharon, Massachusetts who was studying abroad. He had recently accepted admission into the Rutgers Business School and was taking a gap year in Israel. Rutgers University President, Robert L. Barchi, lowered the flags to half-staff on Monday, November 23.[7][8][9][10][11][12] Schwartz was on his way to a park along with friends with whom he had been constructing, as a volunteer, a memorial park in honor of three Israeli boys who were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in 2014.[13] A false rumor that many news reports have echoed claimed that he planned to give food to soldiers. He has been buried in the Sharon Memorial Park.
  • Shadi Arafeh (Arafa) (24), a Palestinian Arab from Hebron.[10] A Palestinian Authority spokesman falsely claimed that Arafa, who was killed by the Palestinian terrorist, had been shot by Israeli security.[5] Official Palestinian sources alleged that Arafa was slain by Israeli soldiers, despite the fact that the only shots fired during the incident where those fired by the Palestinian terrorist who shot at passenger cars, killing Arafa and 2 Jewish civilians.[14]
  • Yaakov Don (51), teacher, father of four from Alon Shvut. Don was taken to Hadassah Medical Center, where he died within hours of the attack.[10]

Two Israeli women, one injured in the car crash, the other by gunfire, were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center.[10]

Attacker

The shooter was Mohammed Abdel Basset al-Kharoub (24), from Dir Smat near Hebron.[4] He had procured over $10,000 in guns and ammunition and had been training for the attack for several months, assisted by several adults. He committed the murders to celebrate his birthday, the day of the attack. His mother later told reporters that she was proud of her son.

Impact

Security measures in response to these murders include a temporary order to stop and search all Palestinian vehicles nearing the intersection, revocation of legal permits to work in Israel held by the extended family of the terrorist, and the planning of bypass roads to separate Israeli vehicles from Palestinian vehicles at this spot.[15]

Response

  • The government of the United States regards the shooting as a terrorist attack.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ Yashar, Ari (19 November 2015). "Two Israelis, one Palestinian killed in Gush Etzion attack". Arutz Sheva. 
  2. ^ Levinson, Haim; Cohen, Gili; Hori, Jacky (19 November 2015). "שלושה הרוגים וחמישה פצועים בפיגוע ירי ודריסה בגוש עציון". Haaretz (Hebrew edition). Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Levinson, Chaim (19 November 2015). "5 Killed, Several Wounded in Tel Aviv, West Bank Terror Attacks". Haaretz. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Steinbuch, Yaron (19 November 2015). "American teen among 5 killed in Palestinian terror attacks". New York Post. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Davidovich, Joshua (20 November 2015). "The storm after the calm". Times of Israel. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "American terror victim perished on 'bloodiest day since violence began'". Jerusalem Post. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  7. ^ http://president.rutgers.edu/public-remarks/letters/rutgers-flag-be-lowered-honor-victims-attacks
  8. ^ Dempsey, Christine (20 November 2014). "Victim Of Terror Attack In Israel Has Connecticut Ties". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Schworm, Peter (19 November 2015). "Sharon teenager killed in attack in Israel". Boston Globe. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Lazaroff, Tovah (19 November 2015). "American teen named among victims of Gush Etzion terror attack". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Boss, Owen (19 November 2015). "Sharon teen killed in West Bank shooting". Boston Herald. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  12. ^ "American killed during Palestinian knife attacks identified". CBS News. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  13. ^ Epstein, Sue (20 November 2014). "Edison couple's grandson killed in Palestinian attack in Israel". nj.com. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  14. ^ Ari, Yashar. "Arab bystander in shooting attack buried as 'victim of Israel'" (20 November 2015). Arutz Shave. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  15. ^ Rudoren, Jody (23 November 2015). "Benjamin Netanyahu Plans Separate Bypass Roads for Israelis in Parts of West Bank". New York Times. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
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