A Palestinian sniper shot dead a soldier stationed the Tut Atarek Junction,
across from the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Sunday.
was named as Gavriel Kobi, 20, from Tirat Carmel. He was promoted to St.-Sgt.
Maj. upon his death.
The gunman fired at Kobi and another Givati Brigade
infantryman positioned to defend the Jewish community, as part of the army’s
holiday preparations. The soldiers were positioned near the pharmacy
intersection and Beit Hamachpela, defending the road used by Jewish residents of
the quarter in Hebron.
“From what we see, the shooting occurred over a
long distance,” a senior IDF source said. “At this stage, we have no clear
direction as to the identity of the shooter.”
Kobi was evacuated to
Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where doctors tried to revive him. He
was pronounced dead soon after arrival.
Many security personnel descended
on the area and searched for the terrorists.
Soldiers were containing a
Palestinian riot nearby at the time of the shooting, but it was too soon to link
the two incidents, the IDF source said, noting that disturbances in the area
Soon after the attack, the army made sweeps across
Ofer Ohana, director-general of Hazalah Yosh, was one of the
first responders to the scene along with another medic.
“We found the
soldier lying in the road,” Ohana said. They tried to revive him and transferred
him to an ambulance, he added.
The incident took place as 10,000 visitors
descended on Hebron to celebrate the Succot holiday.
Some of the violence
– prior to the soldier’s death – occurred because Israelis on Sunday could
access the Cave of Otniel ben Knaz, which is located in an area of the city
under Palestinian control, according to Hebron’s Jewish spokesman David
He said that Palestinians had thrown stones and Molotov cocktails
at the IDF, who had responded with stun grenades and tear gas. The IDF said the
violence took place near the policemen’s checkpoint.
Wilder said that he
expects some 50,000 visitors to descend on Hebron on Monday.
produced the second IDF fatality in the West Bank in two days.
the attack, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of the security
cabinet, wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and cabinet
secretary Avihai Mandelblit that the government must reconsider its plans for
releasing Palestinian terrorists.
“Under the auspices of celebrating
peace talks, Succot has turned into a holiday of harming IDF soldiers,” Bennett
The Bayit Yehudi chairman pointed out that Israel’s agreement to
release more Palestinian prisoners is conditional on progress in negotiations
with the PLO.
“There is no doubt that there have been unfortunate
developments since the talks began, which require the government to rethink its
path,” he wrote.
“The answer to terror must be a war on the murderers and
not dialogue with those who encourage them.”