An Israeli truck driver who was the target of a violent carjacking in the West Bank fired at and killed two of his attackers on Sunday. Police say the man has a firearms license.
The incident began when the tow truck driver made his way to the south Hebron Hills near Yatir.
Police believe the call to which the driver responded was a trap.
“It looks like he was lured to the spot by Palestinians who ordered his services,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
The driver, a resident of Ashkelon, came under attack in the attempted robbery by three men, and was struck on the head with a blunt object.
He fired six shots at his attackers, striking three men.
Two were killed, and one was injured. Soon afterwards, a Hebron area hospital reported receiving the bodies of two Palestinians with gunshot wounds.
The truck driver is hospitalized at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba in light condition after fleeing in his vehicle.
Security forces launched a search of the area to locate forensic evidence and carry out ballistic tests. The driver was later questioned at the hospital.
Sources in the IDF Central Command said that while the incident was not a planned kidnapping, it did highlight the danger posed to Israelis in the West Bank.
“A seemingly innocent job offer can actually turn out to be part of a kidnapping plot,” one officer said. “Israelis need to be extremely careful in such scenarios.”
The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have thwarted a number of kidnapping plots by Palestinian terror groups in the West Bank in recent months. In one case, the Shin Bet arrested a number of Hamas operatives who were plotting the kidnapping of an Israeli citizen or soldier from the settlement of Kiryat Arba.
In 2011, the IDF recorded around 20 attempts to kidnap soldiers in the West Bank.