newsIsrael at War

Israeli killed, six wounded in terror shooting near Ma’ale Adumim

One of the victims, a pregnant woman, was in stable condition undergoing "significant surgery" • Three Palestinian terrorists slain.

Police at the scene of a terror shooting outside Ma'ale Adumim in Judea, Feb. 22, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Police at the scene of a terror shooting outside Ma'ale Adumim in Judea, Feb. 22, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

An Israeli man was killed and six others were wounded on Thursday morning in a terrorist shooting on the Route 1 highway near Ma’ale Adumim, 4.3 miles east of Jerusalem in Judea.

The murdered man was later identified as Matan Elmaleh, 26, from Ma’ale Adumim.

Magen David Adom paramedics treated the victims on the scene, including a pregnant woman, later identified as 30-year-old Adi Zohar, with gunshot wounds to her upper body who was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Dr. Alon Schwartz, head of the trauma department, said that she was undergoing “significant surgery” and that her condition was stable.

It was “too early” to determine any long-term impact on the development of the pregnancy but no issues were discovered upon the initial examination, Schwartz added.

Matan Elmaleh, 26, from Ma’ale Adumim, who was killed in a terrorist attack on Route 1 near the Judean city on Feb. 22, 2024. Source: X.

The other victims were evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah Medical Centers in Mount Scopus and Ein Kerem, all in Jerusalem.

They include four in satisfactory condition, according to the MDA emergency medical services—a 30-year-old woman with gunshot wounds to her upper body, a 23-year-old man with gunshot wounds to the abdomen and limbs, a 51-year-old with gunshot wounds to the limbs, and a 52-year-old woman with gunshot wounds to the limbs.

A 59-year-old was also wounded, according to the MDA.

Security forces and armed civilians shot and killed two Palestinian terrorists at the scene, according to police. An additional terrorist was located and killed following a search.

Police at the scene of a terror shooting outside of Ma’ale Adumim in Judea, Feb. 22, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

The three terrorists had opened fire on vehicles waiting in traffic to pass through the az-Za’ayyem checkpoint en route to Jerusalem.

Police said the terrorists were armed with assault rifles and a grenade.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) later identified them as Ahmed al-Wash, 31, a resident of Za’atara, and brothers Mohamed Zawahra, 26, and Kathem Zawahra, 31, both from Ta’amra.

Kathem Zawahra was previously jailed for entering Israel illegally, according to the Shin Bet.

One of the armed civilians who assisted in killing the terrorist was 23-year-old Hanania ben Shimon, an IDF reservist released from the Gaza Strip a week and a half ago.

“When the terrorist stopped the vehicle and started shooting, Hanania fired the first bullet at him through the window and then went outside, rowed into contact, hit him, and was wounded as well,” his father told Ynet.

Warning: Graphic content

“An extremely large disaster was avoided here thanks to police and armed citizens,” National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said at the attack scene. “We’re distributing more and more guns. I think that today, everyone understands that guns save lives.

“Six months ago, I said that Jewish Judea and Samaria residents’ right to life outweighs Palestinian Authority residents’ right to freedom of movement. I expect there to be more checkpoints and restrictions. Our enemies do not seek excuses, they just want to harm us,” he added.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said that the appropriate response to the attack was to build more Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.

“The serious attack must have a determined security response and also one from the settlements. I demand the prime minister convene the Higher Planning Council and immediately approve plans for thousands of housing units in Ma’ale Adumim and the entire region,” said Smotrich, referring to the Defense Ministry body that authorizes construction across the Green Line.

“Our enemies must know that any harm to us will lead to more construction and more development and more of our grip over the entire country,” he said.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head and Chairman of the Yesha Council Shlomo Ne’eman warned that “traffic jams at the checkpoints have turned into death traps.

“We should restrict the movement of those who are carrying out attacks and allow the residents of Israel to move around their country safely,” he added.

Earlier this month, Israeli Border Police officers thwarted a stabbing in Al-Eizariya (aka Bethany), located close to Ma’ale Adumim on the outskirts of the eastern part of the capital.

Officers stopped a Palestinian suspect for questioning, who then drew a knife and attacked them.

The officers opened fire in response, killing the terrorist.

No other injuries were reported.

On Dec. 31, two Israelis were wounded in a Palestinian stabbing at the Mishor Adumim industrial zone in Ma’ale Adumim.

In August, six Israelis were wounded in Ma’ale Adumim when a 20-year-old Palestinian from Al-Eizariya opened fire with a handgun outside the main shopping mall in the city.

An off-duty Border Police officer shot and killed the terrorist, who was found to have also been armed with a knife.

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