A man wounded in a shooting attack died of his wounds at Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Tuesday, after medical teams worked around the clock in an attempt to save his life.
Malachi Rosenfeld, 27, from Kochav Hashahar, was one of four men shot at close range by gunmen in a passing car near Shvut Rahel, some 45 km. north of Jerusalem, shortly after 11 on Monday night. More than a dozen bullets were fired into the vehicle, killing Rosenfeld and wounding three of his friends.
The four were returning from a basketball game at a nearby settlement when they were shot.
Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld
One of the wounded, Ofer, sounded a defiant tone in an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday.
Four hurt after shots fired in West Bank terrorist attack
“We need to be safe in our country, in every place in the country. A Jew needs to feel safe in his country.”
There have been six terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in the past week and a half. Security officials believe that Monday night’s attack was not the work of a lonewolf terrorist but a wellplanned, sophisticated attack carried out by a cell operating somewhere in Samaria.
They are examining whether the perpetrators were also responsible for a shooting attack on June 19, when 25-year-old Danny Gonen of Lod was shot dead near Dolev, about 27 km. northwest of Jerusalem, after he and a friend were waved down by a Palestinian man on the side of the road, who shot them with a 9 mm. pistol at pointblank range.
As in Monday’s attack, the assailants had a getaway car and firearms, indicating a level of support and planning not demonstrated by the lone-wolf terrorists who have carried out sporadic stabbing attacks across Israel over the past year. An official from the IDF Central Command on Tuesday said that it believes the attacks were the responsibility of either the same terrorist cell or two separate ones, but that it is too early to say if they are part of a wider, organized campaign.
In the meantime, the Central Command has deployed more troops to patrol Samaria and increased their activities inside Palestinian villages, to gather intelligence and to search for suspects in the recent attacks. They have also been operating a series of random, mobile checkpoints across the West Bank in addition to the fixed roadblocks.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday blamed the Palestinian Authority for “inciting” the attacks, saying that Palestinians are watching inciting PA programming on TV during the daily Ramadan fast and then heading out at night to kill civilians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also blamed the PA for failing to condemn recent attacks.
“The fact that the Palestinian Authority has still not condemned these terrorist attacks should disturb not only us but the entire international community,” he said.
“The attempts to harm us have not stopped for a moment,” Netanyahu said, adding that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) together with the IDF have foiled dozens of attacks since the start of the year and more than 200 since the beginning of 2014.
“We expect different behavior from our Palestinian neighbors, and this is something that is in the interest of all those who seek peace,” the prime minister said.
Hamas praised Monday’s shooting, with Hussam Badran, a spokesman for the organization in Qatar, saying it indicates that the West Bank is returning to the days of the second intifada, when such attacks were far more frequent.
The tension caused by the string of attacks in the past two weeks may have led to a near-fatal incident on Tuesday evening at the Kalandiya crossing separating Jerusalem from Ramallah. Around 6:30 p.m., an unidentified man attempted to pass the checkpoint into Ramallah on foot through a lane designated for vehicles, Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
“He walked into the area where vehicles go through and then shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’ at the officers stationed at the crossing and charged them,” said Rosenfeld.
“Warning shots were fired into the air, and the man was told to stop, but he continued to run toward the soldiers, and was shot.”
Rosenfeld said the 21-year-old – who was unarmed – was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics before being transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem in satisfactory-to-serious condition. According to the hospital’s spokeswoman, Shohan Ruvio, the suspect arrived in the trauma unit some 15 minutes after being shot in the stomach, and is in satisfactory condition.
“He’s here now and will have a CT scan soon to evaluate his injury,” said Ruvio. “After that, they will decide whether to operate on him.”
On Monday, a female Military Police officer sustained moderate- to-severe wounds when she was stabbed in the neck at Rachel’s crossing, just north of Rachel’s Tomb and Bethlehem, in what police have deemed a terrorist attack.
That attack took place a few minutes after 11 a.m. when the female attacker, identified as Misun Musa, 20, a resident of Bethlehem, lunged at the 20-year-old officer, impaling her neck with the blade.
Musa was detained and arrested after a brief chase.
“The motivation to carry out attacks like this is always high,” said Efraim Inbar, the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, but he warned that it is too early to make predictions and that it would be irresponsible to panic about the situation.
“This is not anything new,” Inbar said.