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Four Israelis Killed, Four Wounded in West Bank Shooting Attack

12:00 Jun 20 2023 Israel's Eli settlement (עֵלִי)

Four Israelis Killed, Four Wounded in West Bank Shooting Attack Four Israelis Killed, Four Wounded in West Bank Shooting Attack Four Israelis Killed, Four Wounded in West Bank Shooting Attack
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Photos:
Scene in Eli. Credit: AMMAR AWAD/ REUTERS Published by Haaretz

The weapon used by the shooter during Tuesday's shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Eli. Published by Haaretz

mergency services at the scene of the shooting, on Tuesday. Credit: Sharia Diamant Published by Haaretz
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by Hagar Shezaf, Yaniv Kubovich, and Josh Breiner for Haaretz
Jun 20, 2023 4:33 pm IDT

Four Israelis were killed and another four were wounded Tuesday afternoon in a shooting near a gas station in the central West Bank settlement of Eli, according to Magen David Adom emergency services.

Three of the wounded Israelis are in light to moderate condition and a fourth is in serious condition.

One of the assailants was shot at the scene and the army began searching for a possible second gunman. Several hours later, the army announced that it had located and killed the second gunman.

According to a military source, the shooters entered a restaurant in the gas station, shooting and killing three people. As they left, they shot and killed another person. Two Israeli civilians nearby shot one of the shooters while the other managed to escape in a car and drove off toward the Tapuach settlement.

Highway 60, the main road crossing into the West Bank, was blocked to traffic in the area as well.

The deceased shooter was later identified as 25-year-old Mohannad Falah, who was a student activist in a pro-Hamas group, who was released from the Megiddo Prison two and a half years ago.

Following the attack, Hamas praised the actions of the gunman but did not claim responsibility. Their spokesperson said that "the [shooting] in Eli is a response to Israel's crimes carried out [on Monday] at the Jenin refugee camp, and the aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The struggle won't stop until our people are free and independent."

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant will hold a security assessment later this evening with IDF Chief of Staff Herzl Halevi, Shin Bet security service head Ronen Bar and other senior security officials. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said he was canceling a cabinet meeting scheduled to discuss the high cost of living to visit the scene of the attack.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir issued a statement, saying that "Another shooting and yet another one. We're like a sitting duck." Ben-Gvir then called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to "go on a wide military operation and resume the policy of targeted assassinations in the West Bank."

"We need to take down their buildings and impose the death penalty on those convicted of terrorism against Israeli citizens," Ben-Gvir added.

Religious Zionism lawmaker Zvi Sukkot reacted to the shooting, saying he's "ashamed to be part of the coalition. It feels like [Benny] Gantz or [Ehud] Barak are defense minister. We must begin a military operation."

Tuesday's shooting follows a string of violence across the West Bank over the last couple of days. Early Tuesday morning, a Palestinian was killed by Israeli army fire near Bethlehem.

On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces conducted a raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, where six Palestinians were killed and seven IDF soldiers were injured.
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