Moreno describes ‘miracle’ escape from Hamas attacker

Couple wounded in West Bank shooting saved by terrorist's rifle malfunction which allowed them to hide in roadside ditch.

By
September 3, 2010 02:13
3 minute read.
Terror victim Moshe Moreno

Moshe Moreno 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

A husband and wife who were wounded in a shooting attack on Wednesday night in the West Bank escaped death when one of the attackers’ guns jammed and they were able to hide in a nearby ditch.

Ma’aleh Efrayim resident Moshe Moreno told Army Radio on Thursday that he and his wife, Shira, were driving on Route 60 when a car pulled up behind them and began “riding his bumper.”

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Moreno said he waved to the driver, signaling him to pass, and “then we took a turn and the car passed us and opened fire.”

The terrorists sprayed the car with automatic rifle fire and the vehicle spun out of control, overturning on the side of the road.

The attackers approached the car when suddenly, amid the hail of gunfire, one of their rifles malfunctioned, and the Morenos were able to escape.

“One of the guns jammed and we took the chance to roll out of the car and take cover,” Moshe said.

The Morenos hid in a ditch and called police, who rushed to the scene to search for the assailants.

Moreno added that he and his wife, who was lightly wounded, were lucky that the shooting took place as they were driving on an incline, saying that if the gunmen had attacked as they were heading downhill they would probably have plunged off the road to their deaths.

Speaking from his hospital bed, where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder, Moreno told Channel 2 that as the gunmen passed his car they “opened fire from, at most, one meter away. Luckily, I was only hit in the shoulder.”

The incident was the second in two days in the West Bank, both claimed by Hamas. In a terror attack outside Kiryat Arba on Tuesday night, gunmen riddled a car with bullets, killing four residents of the settlement of Beit Hagai.

Moments after that shooting, paramedics rushed to the scene, including Zaka rescue and recovery organization volunteer Maimon Even-Haim, whose wife, Kochava, was among the four victims.

Even-Haim’s friends in the rescue unit tried to keep him from reaching the car where his wife lay mortally wounded, but he could not be swayed.

Speaking to Channel 2 on Wednesday, Even-Haim said, “She looked so beautiful, so pure. I kept telling her, I’m here, I’m here, but she didn’t move.”

Even-Haim said his colleagues told him his wife died instantly, but when he arrived he could tell that “she didn’t. I saw her face and could tell she didn’t die right away.”

A Palestinian Authority security source said on Thursday that its men had seized the car used in the Beit Hagai attack.

The source said that the car was found in Hebron and that the PA security forces were now questioning several suspects linked to the vehicle.

The source refused to comment on reports that the PA has arrested two men suspected of involvement in the attack.

The PA security forces have arrested more than 300 Palestinians from different parts of the West Bank since the attack.

The crackdown has been described as the largest security operation by the PA since its inception.

Hamas, however, announced that the number of those arrested by the PA in the past 48 hours had reached 550. It said another 1,500 Palestinians suspected of affiliation with Hamas had been summoned for interrogation by the various branches of the PA’s security services.

Hamas said that the detainees included prominent political figures, physicians, engineers, university students, former security prisoners who were released from Israeli jails, and relatives and friends of Hamas legislators living in the West Bank.

Eyewitnesses told The Jerusalem Post that the Fatah-dominated security forces also rounded up dozens of worshipers as they emerged from mosques following evening prayers in many cities and villages.


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