IDF soldiers at West Bank checkpoint 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Israeli security forces continued extensive sweeps on Tuesday morning to find the perpetrators of a shooting attack that left one Israeli man dead and two others wounded on Monday night in the West Bank.
An IDF spokeswoman said no suspects had been arrested so far.
On Monday evening, at least one Palestinian gunman opened fire on three Israeli vehicles, killing a 40-year-old Israeli man and wounding his 28-year-old wife and a 9-year-old boy. The deceased was a police officer.
Army Radio reported that one gunman had fled the scene in the direction of the nearby village of Idhna following the attack.
Large numbers of security personnel were in the area of the attack that occurred on Route 35 at the Tarkumia crossing near Hebron, the IDF said.
The IDF has set up checkpoints in the area in attempts to identify suspects.
According to initial assesments, security forces believed the shooter acted alone, and not in coordination with a terrorist organization, Army Radio reported.
Initial IDF investigations also revealed that at least one armed gunman approached the road on foot, and shot at the first car that passed from only a few meters away.
The shooter then ran to another point on the road and continued to shoot at Israeli vehicles. The shooter then fled the scene.
An eyewitness told Channel 2 that a man wearing a helmet on the side of the road all of a sudden opened fire on passing cars with a AK-47 rifle.
IDF officials said there was no military intelligence that hinted at an attack on Jews on the eve of Passover.
MK Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi) told Army Radio that she has no doubt the attack was "a direct result of releasing [Palestinian] prisoners that help turn the wheels of terror...releasing prisoners leads to terrorist attacks."
The Islamic Jihad released a statement commending the attack as "a natural response to Israel's crimes." The terrorist group did not claim responsibility for the attack.
On Tuesday Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich visited with the widow of the murdered man who is recovering at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. He promised that the security forces would bring her husband's killer to justice.
"I met with the widow. She is a very strong woman. I knew her husband who was a member of the security forces. We worked closely together. He was an upstanding and professional man, and his death is a major loss to his family and to the security forces," Aharonovich said.