The IDF locked down the area surrounding Huwara on Sunday evening after David Stern and his wife, both olim from the US, were injured in a shooting attack in Huwara in the northern West Bank in the afternoon, exactly three weeks after two Israelis were killed in a shooting attack in the Palestinian town.
Stern, a resident of the settlement Itamar, was transferred to Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva in moderate to serious condition. His wife, reportedly an American-Israeli dual citizen as well, was injured lightly in the attack as well.
Stern served in the US Marines for four years.
After being shot, Stern succeeded in shooting back at the terrorist, injuring him. A soldier at the scene also shot the terrorist at the same time. The terrorist ran away, but was located shortly after by Israeli forces.
The terrorist was identified as Laith Nadim Nassar, a resident of the village of Madama, southwest of Nablus, according to Palestinian media.
A photo reportedly from the scene showed a vehicle with Israeli license plates with bullet holes in the windshield near the driver's seat. About 20 bullets were fired at the car, according to initial reports.
A senior Magen David Adom medic, Moshe Meir Shimon, who was present at the scene stated "We met up with the vehicle at the Einabus junction along with IDF medical personnel. We provided medical treatment to a man in his 30s who was seriously injured by a gunshot to his upper body and to a woman who fainted from anxiety. We quickly transferred them to ambulances and evacuated them to the hospital, as the man was in serious condition."
The defense establishment reinforced forces in the area after the attack amid concerns that settlers would carry out violence against Palestinians in response to the attack as they did after the attack in late February.
later in the evening, the IDF locked down the area surrounding the town in an effort to prevent revenge riots like the ones that followed the previous terror attack in Huwara.
Israeli and Palestinian reactions to the terrorist attack in Huwara
"I've known the injured man for man years. He's a dear friend, a professional fighter and level-headed," Religious Zionist Party MK Tzvi Sukkot said in a statement.
"After a direct attack, he managed to return fire, hit the terrorist and take care of himself. A miracle has happened here!"
After the attack, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan stated "I say to the barbaric terrorists in the Palestinian Authority: You will never break the settlement in Samaria!
"I say from here to the government, flip the tables, for God's sake, stop behaving like the previous government that abandoned security with its inaction. I am calling and demanding from the prime minister, the defense minister and all our friends who are ministers in the government: it is the turn of the IDF to launch a military operation against the terrorist Palestinian Authority. Return the checkpoints, collect the weapons, we will not accept or agree to a situation where Jewish blood continues to be shed in Samaria in the center of the State of Israel."
Dagan addressed the US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, stating "come here to the hospital now and enter the room with me to look [Stern] in the eyes and give answers, give explanations. I demand that the US government stop the hysterical pressure on the Israeli government against effective military activity by the IDF, against the activity of the defense establishment, [and] against the Jewish settlement in Samaria, which this vengeful terrorist attacked today."
"This resident is a true Jewish hero, the glory of the settlement in Samaria, who protected his wife with his own body; a martial arts man, a security man and an educator. While the armed terrorist was shooting at him on the main road and he was wounded in the head by the gunshot, he pulled out his weapon and fired back. With his resourcefulness, he saved his life and that of his wife – a hero of Israel, a hero of Samaria."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that he was praying for the health of the wounded civilians and expressed support for the security forces operating in the area.
"I repeat: all those who try to harm the citizens of Israel - their blood is on their heads," said Netanyahu.
"I wish a complete recovery for the hero who reacted quickly and calmly and saved his own life, his wife's life and the lives of other Jews who could have been harmed by the shooting," National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said. "I call on my freidns to quickly pass the law giving terrorists the death penalty and to say clearly that any murderer who leaves their home to harm Jews is sentenced to death!"
Settlement and National Missions Minister Orit Struck stated after the attack that "we do not need to burn Huwara. We do need to place checkpoints before an attack and not just after, streamline the Palestinian traffic on this road, and prevent a situation [where Israelis become] sitting ducks, to stop trade along an axis where the density serves as a shelter for hazards, to look for weapons there from house to house as a first project in the line and of course to renew the settlement in Evyatar immediately."
"Huwara should be erased now! without apologizing and without stuttering. As long as we don't address this, we will continue to be murdered in the streets."Elisha Yered
Elisha Yered, an assistant for Otzma Yehudit MK Limor Son Har-Melech, tweeted after the attack "Huwara should be erased now! without apologizing and without stuttering. As long as we don't address this, we will continue to be murdered in the streets."
Yesha Council and Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne'eman stressed after the attack that settler leaders "have demanded at the political level and from the topmost security authorities, we have to put an end to the stockpile of weapons accumulated by the Palestinian Authority. "
Palestinians throughout the West Bank celebrated the terrorist attack, cheering and handing out sweets.
Additionally, an Israeli was lightly injured by stone-throwing near the Hashmonaim checkpoint on Sunday evening.
Hamas praised the terror attack, with spokesperson Hazem Qassem saying it is "a natural response to the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people."
He further stated that "the resistance in the West Bank is getting stronger... and no security meeting in Aqaba or Sharm el-Sheikh can stop it."
Palestinian Islamic Jihad also welcomed the attack, calling it "a natural response to the crimes of the occupation in Damascus in Jenin," Army Radio reported.
Earlier Sunday, Palestinian Islamic Jihad blamed Israel for the assassination of Ali Ramzi al-Aswad, a senior member of the movement's al-Quds Brigades, near Damascus.
Prior terrorist attacks against Israelis in Huwara
The attack comes exactly three weeks after Yagel and Hallel Yaniv, two brothers from Har Bracha, were murdered in a terrorist attack in Huwara.
Hamas operative Abdel Fattah Hussain Harusha, the terrorist behind that attack, was killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin earlier this month.
The attack also comes as Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials met in Sharm el-Sheikh in an attempt to calm tensions in the region ahead of the month of Ramadan, which is set to begin in the middle of this week.
A similar meeting in late February in Aqaba took place on the same day when the attack in which the Yaniv brothers were murdered took place.
This is a developing story.