A 32-year-old Israeli man was killed on Tuesday in a terrorist shooting near the Jewish community of Hermesh in northwestern Samaria.
The victim, identified as Meir Tamari, sustained a bullet wound to the upper body, medics said. He received treatment at the scene before being evacuated by helicopter to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, where he was pronounced dead.
Tamari is survived by his wife and two children, ages 1 and 3. According to the Samaria Regional Council, he moved to Hermesh four years ago after getting married.
“I send heartfelt condolences to the family of Meir Tamari, who was murdered today in a shooting attack near his home community. May God avenge him,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Our forces are currently in pursuit of the terrorists in order to settle accounts with them, and they will be settled forthwith. Just as we have found every terrorist and closed accounts with them, we will do so this time as well,” he said.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the shooting.
(Usually affiliated with Fatah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is a generic name for Palestinian terrorist squads, most of which operate independently, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.)
Local authorities said that the victim came under fire from a passing vehicle on a nearby highway. He continued driving until reaching Hermesh, where the medics treated him.
“The wounded man arrived with a fatal injury. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the doctors, the team had to pronounce him dead. The family has been notified. The hospital shares in the family’s grief,” the medical center said.
Israeli forces launched a search for the shooter and set up roadblocks in the area.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, said that the checkpoint where the shooting occurred was not active and thus no Israeli soldiers were present.
“The writing was on the wall. If the checkpoint had been active, the attack would have been avoided,” he said.
“This is a reality where the security checkpoints do not exist and the terrorist can go freely and return freely, and five minutes after he was shooting he is drinking coffee in his house in the village. It costs us in blood,” Dagan continued, demanding that Israel launch a military offensive to root out the terrorism in Judea and Samaria.
The attack came after an IDF soldier was moderately wounded by shrapnel during a counter-terrorism operation overnight Monday in the Palestinian village of Nur Shams, near Tulkarm in northwestern Samaria.
Troops came under “massive fire” during the mission, and responded in kind, according to the Israeli military.
The soldier was wounded when a bomb was thrown in his direction. He was evacuated to the hospital and his family was notified.
Earlier on Monday, Israeli troops came under attack on Highway 60 near Kiryat Arba in Judea. The soldiers returned fire and a search was launched for the assailants.
A military ambulance was damaged but no injuries were reported.