A 40-year-old Israeli woman was killed and a 39-year-old man was seriously wounded on Monday in a terrorist shooting near Hebron in Judea.
She was identified as Batsheva Nigri, a mother of three from Beit Hagai, an Israeli community in the South Hebron Hills. She was a kindergarten teacher.
At least one terrorist opened fire on the victims while they were driving on the Route 60 highway, close to the Beit Hagai Junction.
Magen David Adom emergency medical personnel treated two people at the scene with critical gunshot wounds, later declaring Nigri dead. The other victim, a man in his 30s, was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva.
Nigri’s young daughter, who was in the back seat of the car at the time of the attack, was not injured.
The Israel Defense Forces launched a manhunt for the terrorists and set up roadblocks in the area.
The victims’ vehicle was hit by at least 22 rounds, with another three bullet impacts located nearby, according to a preliminary military probe.
The IDF said the fire came from a passing car without license plates and that the perpetrators fled toward Hebron.
Troops subsequently encircled the city and were questioning residents.
In a statement published on Monday afternoon, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed “militia” of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The terrorist militia noted that the deadly shooting came on the 54th anniversary of the “burning of the Al-Aqsa mosque in 1969,” referring to an incident when a mentally ill Australian Christian, Denis Michael Rohan, tried to torch the building on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
Hamas praised the attack, describing it as “part of the religious war over holy places and against Zionist projects” in Judea and Samaria.
The IDF said that it was boosting security forces in Judea and Samaria following the shooting—deploying an additional infantry battalion and two companies. That will raise the number of battalions in Judea and Samaria to 23.
The reinforcements will assist in the search for the Hebron area suspects as well as the gunman who killed two Israelis in Huwara, near Nablus (Shechem), on Saturday. The soldiers will also be deployed to guard duty.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced that a Security Cabinet meeting scheduled for Sept. 10 would be moved forward to next week in light of the latest attack.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held an operational briefing following the attack. He is being updated by his military secretary, Brig. Gen. Guy Markizano.
Gallant was scheduled to visit the site of the attack for a situation assessment along with senior military officials.
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir criticized Gallant, telling close associates that “Gallant’s policy is weak against the severe wave of terrorism.”
Ben-Gvir had earlier in the day demanded that Netanyahu move up the next Security Cabinet meeting, although a source in the Prime Minister’s Office told the Walla news site that the decision to bump up the meeting had nothing to do with Ben-Gvir’s demand.
At the Security Cabinet meeting, Ben-Gvir intends to propose a series of measures including placing closures on Palestinian Authority cities, denying Israeli work permits to Palestinian Arabs, placing checkpoints and roadblocks in Judea and Samaria and resuming the policy of targeted killings of terrorist leaders.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen sent his condolences to the victim’s family and prayers for the wounded.
“I call on the international community to condemn terrorism and the Palestinian Authority, which encourages terrorism and pays the murderers of Jews,” Cohen wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “We will continue to fight terrorism with a hard hand, and react strongly against the attempts of our enemies to harm the security of our citizens.”
The Efrat Local Council issued a statement saying that Nagari grew up in the city and that she was “appreciated and loved by the children and the parents.”
Efrat Mayor Oded Reviv said: “Our hearts go out together with the Ravid family, there are no words that can express how great the pain is and how much the children who were already expecting to see the kindergarten teacher they loved so much will also miss her. Together with all the council’s employees, we are working to support the family and provide pedagogical support for the children.”
Shlomo Ne’eman, head of both the Gush Etzion Regional Council and the Yesha Council, said: “The terrorists act as a result of the hate education and funding from the Palestinian Authority, with the goal of massacring us. The government simply can’t continue down the path of the terrible Oslo agreements.
“We demand that the government of Israel and the IDF change course and act with all means at their disposal to deal a severe blow to the terrorist infrastructure and the terrorist P.A. The supporters, the instigators and sponsors of terrorism can no longer continue with their daily routine. There is a war here, and in a war one must behave accordingly,” added Ne’eman.
The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs stated, “We again condemn today’s terrorist attack by a Palestinian militant that killed one Israeli and wounded one other. We send our deepest condolences to the victims’ families. This violence must stop.”
On Saturday, a Palestinian terrorist shot and killed two Israelis in Huwara, located just outside Nablus in Samaria.
The victims, Shay Silas Nigrekar, 60, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, were residents of Ashdod.
The IDF was continuing on Monday to search for the perpetrator.
Earlier this month, a Palestinian terrorist killed Israeli Chen Amir, 42, in the heart of Tel Aviv.
So far in 2023, Palestinian terrorists have killed 34 people (33 Israelis and an Italian tourist) in Israel and committed almost 200 shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria.